Center of Southwest Studies hosts annual solstice event

By Julie Tapley-Booth
Special to The PREVIEW

The museum at the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College will celebrate the summer solstice on Saturday, June 21, from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

At the dawn of the summer solstice, a spiral of sunlight makes its way across the gallery walls, making for a dazzling display. In our annual celebration of summer, the Center of Southwest Studies will provide coffee, light refreshments and cello music by Sunny Gable. Admission and parking are free. This event is open to the public.

Situated in the upper northeast corner of the museum, the Solstice Window is recessed into the wall. Created by Denver artist Scott Parsons as a part of Colorado’s Art in Public Places Program, the window was integrated into the building’s architecture. Parsons designed the window in tribute to the solstice markers of the Ancestral Puebloans of Southwest Colorado.

The spiral cast by the Solstice Window is visible for several weeks before and after the summer solstice, but it is sharpest on solstice morning. Moving with the motion of the earth and sun, the spiral makes its journey across the gallery wall, fading as the sun rises higher in the sky.

The Center of Southwest Studies is located at the north end of the Fort Lewis College campus at 1000 Rim Drive, Durango. Please call 247-7456 or visit for more information.

This story was posted on June 19, 2014.