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California’s Stunning “Field of Light” Is Back

By Katherine LaGrave

Jun 11, 2020

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“Field of Light at Sensorio” is artist Bruce Munro’s largest work to date.

Photo by Serena Munro/©2019 Bruce Munro

“Field of Light at Sensorio” is artist Bruce Munro’s largest work to date.

Bruce Munro’s popular light installation is once again on view in Paso Robles—this time, until January 3, 2021.

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In May 2019, British light installation artist Bruce Munro unveiled a field of more than 58,000 solar-powered, fiber-optic “flowers” illuminating the landscape across 15 acres near Paso Robles, located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Known as Field of Light at Sensorio, the light installation is Munro’s largest field and first solar-powered exhibit in the United States. 

The first run of the exhibit drew more than 145,000 visitors from 41 countries and was supposed to be open until June 2020, but it was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Good news for those who didn’t get to ’gram it the first time around: Due to “overwhelming demand,” according to the official website, the open-air installation will reopen on June 12 and run through January 3, 2021.

“Water-Towers” is currently on display in South Korea.

Munro has also installed similar light-based projects in Australia, London, and South Korea, and has said that Field of Light was a long time coming. “Field of Light for me is a passion,” said Munro in a video about the project last year. “It’s something that I’ve dreamt of taking across the world to simply bring a bit of joy and connection to people.”

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The Field of Light at Sensorio comes alive every evening after sunset from Thursdays to Sundays, when the lights glow in waves of changing colors, and visitors can stroll around the landscape. Tickets cost $30 to $37.50 for adults and $9.50 to $22 for children depending on the day. Interested in splurging? Buy VIP tickets, which include access to a private terrace, fire tables, and an Airstream bar—all for a cool $79 (in advance) or $85 (day of).

The “Field of Light Uluru” by Munro is one of the most popular light installations in the world. It has been extended indefinitely.

Not everything will be the same as it was during the installation’s first run: Under new guidelines, visitors are asked to keep a social distance of six feet or more with staff and other visitors during their one-hour visit. Masks/face coverings are “strongly recommended” for guests, and Sensorio staff are required to wear them.

There’s more: Noncontact thermometers will be used to test guests upon entry, and no one with a temperature of over 100.4 will be admitted. Guests are also required to read and sign 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,” reports the New Times San Luis Obispo

Once inside the exhibit, guests will be funneled along a one-way path and limited in group size, with six people maximum moving together. 

This article was originally published in May 2019. It has been updated with new information.

>> Next: An “Electric Bloom” of Light Installations Just Opened at This Botanical Garden

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