W I L L A   L I G H T  S H I P

Photo Anne Staveley

About Debbie

Debbie Long is an artist who works with light. Long builds sculptures and immersive environments that unfold over time in rhythm with natural light from the sky, its' cycles of day and night, weather, and seasons.

For the last decade she has focused on building Light Ships, large-scale outdoor light sculptures that connect directly to the sky, utilizing the sun and moon as their sole source of light. These works are chambers of light, color, and glass large enough for 4 people to sit inside. Inside, hundreds of handmade cast glass objects collect light from the sky. The interior changes as light shifts throughout the day, sunrise to sunset, as clouds pass overhead, or under moonlight. The first of these experiential sculptures, Naima, was built between 2012-2015. Willa, built between 2015-2020, was recently completed in her studio in Taos.

Light Ships are an invitation to slow down and connect to sky, nature, and land. They are intended for slow bodily experiences of the movement of sunlight, moonlight, clouds passing, starlight and summer lightning. Inside you can watch the sun set over 3 hours, through all the subtle stages of twilight, or wait for the moon to rise and illuminate the chamber. They are built for the slow read, for experiencing light and the sky with our bodies in real time. Light Ships invite us to slow down and connect with the time signature of the natural world.

In addition to these major projects, Long creates room-sized installations, films, and individual sculptures.

Long's first solo museum exhibition Debbie Long: Light Ships at the Harwood Museum in Taos, NM was on view for 7 months in 2022, from March 19-October 9.  Exhibitions include a 2022 solo exhibition at 5.Gallery Santa Fe, NM; High Desert Test Sites in the Mojave Desert outside Los Angeles, CA curated by Dave Hickey, Andrea Zittel, Aurora Tang, and Libby Lumpkin; Chimento Contemporary Los Angeles, CA; Gallery OneTwentyEight Lower East Side New York, NY; Vivian Horan Gallery New York, NY; Boston University Sherman Gallery Boston, MA; and The Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe, NM.

Reviews and Press include Hyperallergic's review of Debbie Long: Light Ships at the Harwood Museum, the BBC Culture London, UK; The LA Weekly, Los Angeles, CA; Artillery Magazine, Los Angeles, CA; ArtSlant, Santa Fe, NM; Art Studio America, a new book about US Artists in their studios from Trans Globe Publishing London, UK; and LAND/ART New Mexico, a book recording a 6 month exhibition exploring Land Art in New Mexico from Radius Books, Santa Fe, NM.  Awarded Grants include a Paseo Taos Community Grant in 2020, a Pilchuck Glass School Residency in 2004 and a Creative Capital Foundation Workshop in 2006.

Long completed Apprenticeships at Adobe Bronze Casting Foundry in Albuquerque, NM in 1993,1994 and at Walentinowicz Glass Studio in Illinois in 2004, 2006, 2007. She worked as studio assistant to Ken Price in Taos, New Mexico from 2006-2012.

Originally from Gallup, New Mexico, she lives and works in Taos, New Mexico.


Press Links

Hyperallergic Light Ships at the Harwood Museum Debbie Long Turns RVs into Vessels of Light (2022)

Speed of Light Light Ships at the Harwood Museum Taos News (2022)

Debbie Long Lets the Light Shine In Light Ships Harwood Museum New Mexico Magazine (2022)

Lynne Robinson Debbie Long Profile (2014)

BBC Culture American Artists in their Studios (2013)

LA Weekly High Desert Test Sites (2013)

Artillery Magazine High Desert Test Sites (2013)

MutualArt High Desert Test Sites (2013)

Exhibition Links

Harwood Museum of Art Debbie Long: Light Ships Taos, NM (2022) Solo Exhibition

5.Gallery Santa Fe, NM (2022) Solo Exhibition

High Desert Test Sites Naima Light Ship Mojave Desert Los Angeles, CA (2013)

Chimento Contemporary Naima Light Ship Los Angeles, CA (2016)

Paseo Project Naima Light Ship Taos, NM (2014)

Mark Moore Gallery Tow Package Los Angeles, CA (2013) Solo Exhibition


Boston University School of Visual Arts Sherman Gallery Boston, MA (2008)

Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe, NM (2008) Solo Exhibition

Selected Exhibitions

2022    Debbie Long: Light Ships, Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM Solo Exhibition

2022    Debbie Long, 5.Gallery, Santa Fe, NM Solo Exhibition

2018    Taos 1960s-Present, Vivian Horan Gallery, New York, NY (With Ken Price, Ron Davis, Ron Cooper, Larry Bell, Lynda Benglis)

2018    Harnessing Light, Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM (3 Person Exhibition, Curated by J Matthew Thomas)

2016    Naima Trailer Light Ship, Chimento Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA (2 person Exhibition)

2014    Art for a Silent Planet, Harwood Museum of Art, Taos NM (3 Person Exhibition)

2014    Naima Trailer Light Ship, Paseo Project, Taos, NM

2013    Naima Trailer Light Ship, High Desert Test Sites, Mojave Desert Los Angeles, CA (Curated by Andrea Zittel, Libby Lumpkin, Aurora Tang, Dave Hickey)

2013    Tow Package, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Solo Exhibition

2012    Taos Contemporary, Denver Center for Visual Art, Denver CO

2011    Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM (Curated by Libby Lumpkin)

2009    Sculpture as Analogy to Landscape, LAND/ART New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (Curated by Steve Barry)

2008    Migrate, Gallery OneTwentyEight, New York, NY (Curated by Sabra Moore, With Sabra Moore, Howardina Pindell, Kazuko Miyamoto)

2008    Crossing Country, Boston University School of Visual Arts Sherman Gallery, Boston, MA (Curated by Hannah Cole)

2008    Forest, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM Solo Exhibiton

2008    Amor Sin Palabras, Nadie es Perfecto, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca Mexico (Curated by Ron Cooper)

2007    Tree Stump Tree Forest, Fenix Gallery, Taos, NM Solo Exhibition

2007    NM10, Cinemaland Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA (Curated by Sydney Cooper)

2007    Artists from the Creative Capital Workshop, 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM (Curated by Diane Karp)

2007    Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM

2006    Morphosis, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM , Curated by Cyndi Conn

2006    Tree Forest City, Art Lobby Project Space, Taos, NM Solo Exhibition

2006    Comin' Down the Mountain, Donkey Gallery, Albuquerque, NM (2 person exhibition)

2005    Bloc-busta, College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe NM and Taos Plaza Theatre, Taos, NM

2003    Peace Show, James Hart, Santa Fe, NM

2002    Collect, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM

2002    Window Project, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM

2001    Rec Room, Van de Griff Marr Gallery Shack Obscura, Santa Fe, NM

2001    Painting is Dead, Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM (2 Person Exhibition)

2000    Work from Los Angeles, Fenix Gallery Taos, NM Solo Exhibition

Selected Awards

2020    Paseo Project Community Grant, Taos, NM

2006    Creative Capital Foundation Professional Development Workshop Grant, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM

2004    Pilchuck Glass School Residency Grant, Seattle, WA

Selected Books and Catalogs

2014    The Gus Foster Collection Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM

2013    High Desert Test Sites 2013 Exhibition Catalog Aurora Tang, Andrea Zittel

2013    Art Studio America Trans Globe Publishing, London, UK Hossein Amirsadeghi, Maryam Eisler

2010    LAND/ART New Mexico Radius Books, Santa Fe, NM Bill Gilbert, Suzanne SBarge, Lucy Lippard

2005    Bloc-busta Exhibition Catalog Santa Fe, NM

Selected Articles and Reviews

2022    Boyle, Molly "Debbie Long Turns RVs into Vessels of Light" Hyperallergic. (May 15).

2022    Manuela, Maria "Debbie Long Lets the Light Shine In" New Mexico Magazine. (February 23).

2022    Robinson, Lynne. "Speed of Light: Debbie Long at the Harwood Museum" The Taos News. (March 23).

2014    Tresp, Lauren "Art For a Silent Planet: Blaustein, Elder and Long" ARTslant. (March 28).

2013    Cheng, Scarlet "High Desert Test Sites 2013" Artillery Magazine Los Angeles. (November 20).

2013    Gluck, Marissa "If You've Ever Wanted To Take a Road Trip Through the Desert" The LA Weekly. (October 14).

2013    Weinstien, Leah "High Desert Test Sites, A Diary" Mutual Art. (October 23).

2013    Lawrence, Rebecca "American Artists Pictured in Their Studios" BBC Culture London UK. (October 12).

2009    Fischer, Zane "Landscapism" The Santa Fe Reporter. (June).

2007    Hassett, Anthony "Debbie Long TreeStumpTreeForest" THE Magazine. (August).

2006    Collins, Tom "Strange Shapes Indeed" The Albuquerque Journal. (January 27).

2005    Tobin, Richard "Bloc-busta Taos" THE Magazine. (September).

2001    Nott, Robert "Rec-reating Imagination" The Santa Fe New Mexican. (October 12).

2000    Collins, Tom "Debbie Long at Fenix" Geromino Magazine Taos. (June).

Selected Collections

Harwood Museum of Art Taos, NM

Lynda Benglis, New York, NY

Larry Bell, Taos, NM

Jeffrey Soros, Los Angeles, CA

Glen Schaeffer, Las Vegas, NV

Gus Foster, Taos, NM

Ron Cooper, Taos, NM


2006-2012  Studio Assistant Ken Price Taos, NM



1994   BFA Sculpture University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM

1993   BA French Literature University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM


1993, 1994   Adobe Forge and Bronze Casting Foundry Albuquerque, NM

2004, 2006, 2007   Janusz Walentynowicz Glass Studio, Chicago, IL