The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater at the 2016 SITE Santa Fe Biennial

SANTA FE—Architect Conrad Skinner’s five-year research project into the history of the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater plays a lead role in much wider than a line, SITE Santa Fe’s 2016 biennial dedicated to new art from the Americas. The exhibition which features 35 artists and two archival projects including Skinner’s, runs at SITE Santa Fe through January 8, 2017.

Skinner’s project introduces visitors to much wider than a line with a 700 square-foot gallery that includes a photographic mural of the Amphitheater from which projects an arcing concrete bench, architect’s drawings reproduced from Soleri’s sketchbooks, a slideshow of its construction and a micaceous clay model of the Amphitheater by artist Eliza Naranjo-Morse.

The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater re-imagined Western theater space by introducing Native American precedents and represented the turning point in Native American arts education that the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) initiated in the mid-1960s. The Amphitheater grew out of a creative collaboration between IAIA educators, and Paolo Soleri. It is one of only six commissions by the architect, who is best known for Arcosanti, his experimental city north of Phoenix, AZ. Soleri died in 2013 at age 93 in Scottsdale.

The Amphitheater, sited today on the Santa Fe Indian School campus, has been closed since 2010. Skinner’s research has included a two-day visit to Arcosanti and an interview with Soleri in 2010. The gallery at much wider than a line offers the first public view of the building, albeit a virtual one, since Lyle Lovett's final concert there on July 29, 2010.

Skinner, American Institute of Architects Santa Fe Chapter Secretary, logs an architectural history in theater-related projects, designing the Stieren Pavilion and stage modifications for the Santa Fe Opera as well as an addition to the Santa Fe home of the late John O. Crosby, founder and Director. His contributions to much wider than a line include a catalogue essay, one of two by participants in the show. He is writing a book documenting the amphitheater's development, design and use.

Cost is $10 /  $5 for seniors. Free on Fridays.

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For more information about Conrad Skinner’s Paolo Soleri Amphitheater history project please contact him at or visit the history website at

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Cite: "The Paolo Soleri Amphitheater at the 2016 SITE Santa Fe Biennial" 11 Aug 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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