British/Australian artist Bruce Munro's light-based installations "are inspired largely by is interest in shared human experience," according to his website, and indeed, the collective sense of wonder viewers may experience wandering through his Field of Lights led The New York Times to place his Paso Robles exhibition at No. 6 on its "50 Places to Go in 2020."
Originally opened in May 2019, Field of Lights at Sensorio has been—like many places where people might gather—shut down due to the pandemic. Now, however, open-air art exhibits are allowed to reopen, and so this Friday, June 12, guests can visit the 15-acre installation that includes 58,800 stemmed spheres lit by fiber optics. The exhibit will remain open until Jan. 3, 2021, though inclement weather may cancel some of the days—Thursdays through Sundays—the installation welcomes visitors.
"With the governor's announcement May 12 allowing activities including outdoor museums and galleries, we were granted permission by the public health director of San Luis Obispo County to reopen," Sensorio Executive Director Tracy Strann said in press materials. "We're implementing every safety precaution in order to offer a safe environment for our visitors, including timed ticket entry, a one-way path through the exhibition, limited group size (six maximum), monitored and enforced social distancing, mask coverings, and other safety measures to guard everyone's health. During these deeply unsettling times, we know there are many looking forward to visiting this tranquil outdoor exhibition to experience Bruce Munro's extraordinary vision."
- Photo Courtesy Of David Greer
- VISIONARY English/Australian artist Bruce Munro stands among his installation, Field of Light at Sensorio, in Paso Robles.
Before the closure, the exhibition had counted more than 145,000 visitors from 41 countries. It also garnered gushing media praise: The New York Times noted how the installation evoked "movement that infuses culture in valleys of viticulture" while Forbes described it as "the future of public wellness." Travel + Leisure called it a "pilgrimage-worthy art escape" that is "meant to complement, never compete or detract, from the beauty of the landscape."
Safety has been prioritized. According to press materials, "Sensorio will require masks for all staff members, plus gloves for all food and beverage employees. In accordance with local health requirements, mask/face coverings are strongly recommended for all guests. To further protect its guests and staff, non-contact thermometers will be utilized for each guest upon entry, and non-contact hand sanitation stations will be provided throughout the entire site. All restrooms and surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected every 30 minutes.
"Prior to admittance, every ticket buyer will be required to read and sign upon entrance a document confirming they currently have no COVID-19 symptoms and have not knowingly come into contact with anyone that has symptoms of COVID-19 or any flu-like virus, in the past 14 days."
- Photo Courtesy Of Serena Munro
- MESMERIZING First installed in Paso a year ago, the exhibit has been closed due to the pandemic but reopens on June 12. The New York Times listed it as No. 6 on its "50 Places to Go in 2020."
To get a taste of the experience, there's an online video that shows some of Munro's previous Field of Light installations at various other international locales. Go to vimeo.com/124927132.
Viewings in Paso are in one-hour intervals. The next round of guests will be admitted as previous guests exit. For information, visit sensoriopaso.com or call (805) 226-4287.
Light up your life! Δ
Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey lets his light shine. He can be reached at [email protected].