Here at Creative Gateways, we believe that art is something to be experienced and enjoyed beyond a traditional gallery setting. Our artists create ceramic works to be placed in outdoor spaces; glass and tableware that can become a part of everyday life; and paintings that will bring color and calm to the spaces where you live.
Art beyond the gallery: Roden Crater
This “beyond the gallery” approach to art might be unusual compared to a traditional approach to art, but it’s not unique. In fact, just a couple hours’ drive from Sedona lies an example of one of the most striking movements of artists to embrace this approach to creativity. The Roden Crater is a living piece of “land art” that’s still being worked on now, and is a fascinating addition to the artistic surroundings of Sedona’s creative center.
Land art: the landscape is the picture
The “land art” movement began in the nineteen sixties, as a radical rejection of art confined to museums or galleries. Instead of locking away art in quiet, elitist spaces, land artists created vast forms in the landscape around them. Art to be walked on, touched, explored and absorbed into the natural landscape in which it was created.
One of the foremost current examples of this kind of art is James Turrell’s Roden Crater, situated a short drive from our studio, just north
of Flagstaff. This volcanic crater in the desert has been turned into a giant piece of land art, made up of a network of tunnels and openings threaded through the crater that allow visitors to look up at different views of the vast Arizona skies.
Turrell started work on this project in 1977, but the piece remains a work in progress. Art of this size isn’t something that can be rushed! While construction is ongoing the site isn’t open to visitors, but you can see pictures and keep track of progress here.
“Representing the culmination of the artist’s lifelong research in the field of human visual and psychological perception, Roden Crater is a controlled environment for the experiencing and contemplation of light.” – Skystone Foundation
Ancient Land Art
The Land Art movement might have begun in the nineteen sixties, but in the Nazca desert of Peru, the idea of large scale landscape art is nothing new. Up to two thousand years ago, the ancient peoples there began to draw a series of huge images in the sand, removing the top 12–15 inches of rock to expose different colored sand below.
The unique environment of the desert has kept these images intact, and they have been the subject of many different theories and speculations over the years by people trying to figure out their purpose. We’ll never know exactly what their significance was, but the designs still resonate with us today.
Beyond the gallery at Creative Gateways
We don’t consider ourselves Land Artists, but we do like to celebrate this connection to nature and the cosmos. Join us next Friday, September 1st, for our opening exhibition of Expressing the Source. Check out our other upcoming September events here, and follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with everything that’s going on, or just drop by and say hi!