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Field Trip: Sun Tunnels

June 16, 2018 @ 12:00 pm 5:45 pm

Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, roughly 147 miles west of Brigham City, was the inspiration for Salt Lake artist Kelly O’Neill in creating rend/er, which is on view at the Brigham City Museum of Art & History through June 12, 2018Holt’s seminal piece of land art immerses visitors in the encircling horizon of the Great Basin Desert to contemplate place, presence, and time.

Nancy Holt created Sun Tunnels between 1973 and 1976 in the Box Elder County desert. Despite being more than 40 years old, the work still feels exceptionally modern. It also has an ancient aspect, in its reflection of the constellations through the holes in the tunnels, as well as the solstice alignments.

Along with Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, (also in Box Elder County), Sun Tunnels is one of the most important works of land art in the country. Because of the remote location of the work of art, few people take the opportunity to see it.

On June 16th, O’Neill will lead a tour to Holt’s Sun Tunnels. On the summer solstice (June 21), and five days to either side of it, the sun appears centered through two of the tunnels. This tour will provide visitors the opportunity to experience that with an artist who has spent a great deal of time studying the work.

No transportation is provided. Meet at the museum, ready to leave at 6:00pm. Participants are encouraged to carpool. 

Visitors should wear sensible clothing for a trip to a remote part of the desert, including bringing items appropriate for inclement weather, and water, snacks, etc. Cell phone reception at the site is unreliable. There are no facilities at Sun Tunnels. Be prepared with a full tank of gas. Last public bathroom before Sun Tunnels is in Snowville, 45 minutes into the trip. Travel time to the site is approximately 2.5 hours. We will be back in Brigham City around midnight.