Deseret News
"Sun Tunnels," the land art piece by Nancy Holt located in Wendover, has been purchased by the Dia Art Foundation.

BOX ELDER COUNTY — “Sun Tunnels,” the historic Utah land art piece by contemporary artist Nancy Holt, has been purchased by the Dia Art Foundation.

Located in Lucin, an abandoned railroad town in Box Elder County, “Sun Tunnels” was built from 1973-1976. It includes four concrete cylinders, each 18 feet in length and nine feet in diameter, arranged in an open cross format. The cylinders are aligned to frame the sun on the horizon during summer and winter solstices. It is among the nationally renowned land art pieces in Utah, including Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” in the Great Salt Lake.

Utah audiences need not worry, though: “Sun Tunnels” isn’t going anywhere. Dia, a renowned nonprofit organization, seeks to enable and preserve atypical art projects like “Sun Tunnel,” so the piece will stay put. Dia has a longstanding relationship with Holt, who died in 2014. Holt, in fact, facilitated the donation of “Spiral Jetty” to Dia in 1999.

To highlight the acquisition, Dia will present installations of Holt’s work at Dia:Chelsea in New York City. This will include the room-size installations “Holes of Light” and “Mirrors of Light.” These installations are scheduled to open on Sept. 15 this year.

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“Nancy Holt was an important innovator and intellect. She deeply understood Dia's commitment to stewarding such radical works,” said Jessica Morgan, a director at Dia Art Foundation, in a press release. “I am honored to give her the place she deserves alongside her peers by bringing ‘Sun Tunnels,’ the first work of land art by a woman, into the fold of Dia's collection.”

As part of the acquisition, Dia is partnering with a number of Utah institutions to further advocate for the piece. These partners include the Center for Land Use Interpretation at Wendover, the Holt-Smithson Foundation and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.