The Dating Duo Visits the James Turrell Skyspace

 Her: “Sarasota sunsets are soooo romantic!”

Him: “We watch the sunset at the beach every night. Let’s do something different: I heard they opened a new exhibit at the Ringling Museum.

Her: “The Ringling Museum is just 21 galleries of really old art.”

Him: “But this new exhibit sounds like seriously awesome mad-scientist art. And it’s brand new!”

It’s true! The Ringling Museum, as part of their “Art of Our Time” initiative, commissioned a Skyspace from internationally renowned artist James Turrell.

Her: “The plants and outdoors-y feel of the Skyspace combined with the chirping crickets makes me believe I’m outside, but the fact that we walked through doors from the outside to the inside and my hair’s not frizzing up leaves me to conclude we’re actually inside right now.”

Him: “The intimate feel of 56 people sitting in a square and staring at the sky in the dark for an hour really sets the tone for some quality hand-holding time.”

Her: “Yeah, I do love holding hands with you in the dark. But I also really feel like I’m having an experience that isn’t even comparable to anything else we’ve ever seen or done!”

Participants in the Skyspace relax on reclaimed cedar benches and gaze into a 24-square foot hole (which Turrell calls an “aperture”) in the ceiling. Over the course of one hour the LED lights around the aperture slowly change color, causing a change in the viewer’s perception of the sky.

Him: “It’s better than a 3D video game!”

Her: “It’s like traveling through space!”

Him: “I love you more than a 3D video game.”

Her: “It’s so sexy to space travel with you!” Turrell’s Skyspaces are scattered throughout the world, but the Ringling Museum’s Skyspace (named Joseph’s Coat) is Turrell’s largest Skyspace, one of only two public Skyspaces on the East Coast and the only Skyspace in Florida. Joseph’s Coat is open during regular museum hours for those wishing to relax and contemplate the Florida sky. For the full perception-changing space travel/seriously romantic experience, visit the Skyspace during a “Skyspace Sunset.” Tickets are $5 for non-members and free for museum members, but reservations are recommended due to limited seating.

Her: “I wonder how James Turrell knew how to manipulate my mind.”

Him: “He has a B.A. in Perceptual Psychology. Duh.”

Her: “I love it when you act intellectual with me! Let’s go get a pretty drink and talk about perception!”

Him: “I feel like I see colors in the sky as well as the colors in my alcohol in a whole new light! Pretty drinks and smart talk, here we come!”

And so the Dating Duo, armed with a new appreciation for the Sarasota sunset and the colors of pretty drinks, heads off to Blu Que Island Grill. She is already thinking about a Smoking Blu Martini. He is still on a romantic kick and wanting to share an Absolut Madness or maybe a Blu Tea for Two.

- To let the Dating Duo know what you recommend at Blu Que Island Grill, visit them on Facebook.

- For more information on viewing the Joseph’s Coat Skyspace, visit the Ringling Museum website.

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