Circle of Light Restoration
Circle of Light uses geometric patterns to encircle the outside edge of the Yakima Valley SunDome roof, in Central Washington. There are twenty-four different panels and patterns. Six of the designs draw inspiration from local, traditional Yakama Native American basketry patterns.
Late artist Richard C. “Dick” Elliott used over 48,000 3-inch industrial highway reflectors to create the detailed patterns. Each reflector catches the Yakima sunshine. Together they create a beautiful monument to light and color. It is the largest piece in the State Art Collection.
Circle of Light has fallen into disrepair in the decades since installation. At least half of the artwork’s 50,000 colorful reflectors have fallen off. The legislature approved the funding for the restoration in 2021.
Burton Construction, Inc. (of Spokane) will manage the removal of the old, decaying reflectors and the installation of their replacements. The work will be overseen by an architectural conservator with Architectural Resources Group (ARG).
The conservator will ensure that the restoration is in keeping with the artist’s vision. They will also make sure that the process complies with The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, and the Code of Ethics of the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).
- Restoration begins on Yakima Valley SunDome’s Circle of Light (ArtsWA – May 16, 2022)
- Watch: Field Report: Dick Elliott’s ‘Circle of Light’ (TVW – August 26, 2022)
- Artwork on Yakima Valley SunDome shines again after restoration (Yakima Herald – July 25, 2022)
- Restoration begins on Yakima Valley SunDome’s Circle of Light (Yakima Herald – May 23, 2022)
- State capital budget funds Circle of Light restoration at Yakima’s SunDome (Yakima Herald – May 18, 2021)
- State art officials seek funding to restore SunDome artwork in Yakima (Yakima Herald – December 11, 2020)
- Photos: SunDome artwork – then and now (Yakima Herald – August 11, 2020)
- SunDome artwork by famed Ellensburg artist gets a close look from state conservation team (Yakima Herald – August 11, 2020)
Galleries and exhibits
Watch the Field Report
Explore Elliott’s legacy and learn how the largest piece in the State Art Collection was restored in this TVW ‘Field Report’.
Watch the celebration
On July 25, ArtsWA gathered with the restoration partners, elected officials, and others to celebrate the completed restoration of Dick Elliott’s Circle of Light. Watch the full coverage from TVW below.