That Fellow Dessy your experience is heightened. Turrell calls his creation “St. Elmo’s Light,” which derives from a natural phenomenon known in English as St. Elmo’s fire. It occurs when there is a large voltage difference between two objects, such as a cloud and a church steeple, and the electrical field ionizes the air molecules. They then glow like the gas inside a neon sign. Sailors at sea in a thunderstorm sometimes see glowing points of light standing atop the tips of the masts or yards. Because of the nitrogen and oxygen in the air, St. Elmo’s fire usually is blue or magenta or rose. But I can only put words on pa-
per. Come to the Academy Art Museum and see for yourself. (There is more to this retrospective look at Turrell’s long career, by the way.) These creations aren’t portable; they are meticulously designed and cost tens of thousands of dollars to construct. Since we’ll not be seeing another in these parts anytime soon, you might want to drop in before they turn it back into a picture gallery again. See if you can find the Martin Point. Gary Crawford and his wife, Susan, operate Crawfords Nautical Books, a unique bookstore on Tilghman’s Island.
Pamela P. Gardner, AIA, LLC
410-820-7973 ppgaia@ verizon.net
8 W. Dover Street Easton, MD
Tidewater Times July 2013