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For $6500 You Can Visit James Turrell's Unfinished Observatory

In May, the legendary Light and Space artist will open 'Roden Crater' to donors.

For the price of $6,500, you could travel out to the San Francisco Volcanic Field alongside 19 others to experience Roden Crater, an unfinished piece that Light and Space artist James Turrell has been working on for over 40 years.

The massive land art project seeks to turn the 400,000-year-old volcanic cinder cone of its namesake into what Turrell calls a "naked eye observatory." Recently it was announced that the work would be open for a fundraising event in May, one that aims to fund the Skystone Foundation, a nonprofit Turrell set up to support the Roden Crater effort. Like Perceptual Cell, an immersive 2014 Turrell artwork at LACMA that was sold out months in advance, attendance is limited. According to Chuck Close, one of the few to have ever visited the site, the piece is so impactful that it made him wonder if his own art, by comparison, was "pabulum for the masses.”


As ArtNews reports, the application that potential visitors are required to fill out in order to attend Roden Crater includes the fact that the price tag does not cover “Airfare, personal or baggage insurance, meals other than mentioned above, laundry, valet, liquor (other than wine with dinner), room service or minibar charges, telephone calls, faxes or internet charges, pharmaceuticals, supplemental costs for (additional) single rooms and/or (additional) suites, and any other individual charges of a personal nature.”

Whether or not a price tag can be put on experiencing a place that Turrell says, "has knowledge in it and it does something with that knowledge," however, will be up to attendees of Roden Crater to decide.


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