Sensorio dazzles: Community leaders attend viewing before it opens to public

Internationally-acclaimed artist Bruce Munro has created his largest work to date, Bruce Munro: Field of Light at Sensorio in Paso Robles on display from May 19, 2019, to Jan. 5, 2020. (Photos by David Greer)

Local civic community leaders on May 16 gathered at Sensorio — a new Central California destination for art, entertainment, exploration, meditation, adventure, and delight — for a private preview event designed by celebrated planners Colin Cowie Lifestyle. The festive evening offered an advance look at the thoughtful, amusing, and exhilarating experiences this location will have to offer. Sensorio is launching its first phase with an expansive light installation by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro, open to the public beginning Sunday, May 19, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020. Entirely solar-powered and spanning across 15-acres, Field of Light at Sensorio utilizes an array of over 58,800 stemmed spheres lit by fiber-optics that gently illuminate the landscape in subtle blooms of morphing color. Held Thursday, May 16 at Sensorio, 4380 Highway 46 East, Paso Robles, the invited preview captivated guests, inviting them to engage with the countryside through an ethereal light-based, sculptural experience.

The evening began with guests mingling on Sensorio’s majestic Event Lawn, including Paso Robles Police Chief Ty Lewis, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Gregory, Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong, and Congressional District Rep. Greg Haas, among many others. Attendees were welcomed warmly by Executive Director Tracy Strann and the Founders of Sensorio, Ken and Bobbi Hunter, who briefly spoke about Sensorio, the vision for the future, and how this exhibit came to be. Next came the introduction of Munro, who described his inspiration and vision for Field of Light at Sensorio. As the sun began to set, guests were invited to wander the grounds.

Overlooking the dazzling Field of Light at Sensorio backdrop, guests sampled passed appetizers and enjoyed offerings including a charcuterie station, avocado bar, oyster bar, mini barbacoa tacos, savory Jamaican racks of lamb, and delectable veggie sushi rolls. Dinner ended on a sweet note with decadent chocolates, beignet pastries, and hot chocolate. Libations were provided by Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Eberle Winery, and San Antonio Winery. This sensational evening concluded with guests roaming the grounds, soaking in the warm glow of the exhibit and feeling the moving effect of this extraordinary immersive experience.

Smithsonian Magazine has called Munro’s work “stunning,” while The Guardian noted, “This is art you feel, rather than art you view.” The Huffington Post said, “It can be hard to describe in words the gifts that Munro bestows on the landscape as his work escapes description in either written or photographic form, it is something to be experienced.” Theoretical physicist/Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek noted, “I had the uncanny sense that I was walking through my own mind, or at least a good model of it. I’ll never again think about brains, or myself, in quite the same way.”

Following this interactive light installation will be other exhibits and buildings, including a hotel a conference center. The second phase is scheduled to open in 2021, and the third in 2024.

Munro is best known for large-scale light-based artworks inspired largely by his continuous study of natural light and his curiosity for shared human experiences. With a fine arts degree, early career training in the lighting design industry and an inventive urge for reuse, his art captures his responses to literature, music, science, and the world around him. His work has been commissioned by and displayed in special exhibitions in galleries, parks, grand estates, cathedrals, botanical gardens, and museums across the globe. Artworks by Munro are held in the permanent collections of museums and public art collections worldwide including the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology, Oxford; and Montalvo Arts Center. 

For more information and for tickets the public may visit or call 805-226-4287.


Internationally-acclaimed artist Bruce Munro has created his largest work to date, Bruce Munro: Field of Light at Sensorio in Paso Robles on display from May 19, 2019, to Jan. 5, 2020. (Photos by David Greer)

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