When Art Imitates Life—Roden Crater and Natina

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We’ve always known our Natina Rock Solution is beautiful, but when we were involved with light and space artist James Turrell to help with a 50,000-square-foot art installation, we felt vindicated! Our product was being seen by some people in high places for its natural beauty and its stunning properties.

Turrell is a California-born artist who has spent 40 years carving a celestial observatory and art exhibit from a 400,000-year-old extinct volcano located 60 miles outside Flagstaff, Arizona.1 When completed, visitors will watch the sky from the crater and lose themselves through a maze of tunnels and spaces lit entirely by the sun, moon and stars. The Roden Crater is a one-of-a-kind interactive experience housed inside a volcanic cinder cone. Turrell has always been determined to leave the exterior of the volcano as close to its natural state as possible, so only a small fraction of the work will be visible on the surface (Hylton, 2021).2

Natina treated the rock for deep brown hues in a sizeable horizontal spiral pattern outside the exhibit. Natina Rock Solution was added for a few different reasons.

  1. To keep the volcano in a “natural state.” We took rip rap and blended the artwork into the landscape and its environment.
  2. As a decorative feature because of Turrell’s vision.
  3. To help the art stand the test of time and prevent erosion around the volcano.

We know what you’re thinking. We’re not all beauty and have brains too! We made sure our work was pretty and practical. Not to toot our own horn, but we’re not the only fans! Arizona State University promised to raise $200 million for the exhibit, including an anonymous gift of $1.8 million, to get it to the finish line.3

We encourage you to read more about this project at Roden Crater’s website and plan a trip to see it once it’s finished. It’s a truly unique experience, and we’re so grateful to have played a role in its creation.

Learn how you can color the world around you with Natina Solutions. Connect with us today about your project.

1 Balsam, J. (2020 December 22). An Artist Hollowed Out a Volcano and Turned It Into One Big Art Piece. Thrillist. https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/what-is-the-roden-crater

2 Hylton, W. (2021 May). The Light Fantastic. Smithsonian Magazine.


3 Faller, M. (2019 January 14). Letting in the light: ASU, artist James Turrell to partner on masterwork in the desert. ASU News. https://news.asu.edu/20190114-creativity-asu-artist-james-turrell-partner-masterwork-roden-crater

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