Grand opening of Vail Winterfest on Dec. 19 |

Grand opening of Vail Winterfest on Dec. 19

The 15th annual Vail Winterfest announces the grand opening of its ice sculpture and lantern displays

Starting Dec. 19, guests are invited to wander through a whimsical ice installation designed by celebrated visual artist Olive Moya with the support of the talented local team at Alpine Ice.
Art in Public Places/Courtesy photo

Art in Public Places is pleased to announce the 15th annual Vail Winterfest this winter season. Opening Dec.19, guests are invited to wander through a whimsical ice installation designed by celebrated visual artist Olive Moya with the support of the talented local team at Alpine Ice. Illumination begins daily at dusk and lasts until 10 p.m. until the ice melts.

Grand opening

4:30-6 p.m. | Dec. 19 | International Bridge, Vail Village

Enjoy illuminated lanterns, festive music, complimentary hot chocolate and lots of glow at the grand opening of the Vail Winterfest. Artists Moya and Paul Wertin will present along with other special guests. Don’t miss the first night of this celebration of light. Free and family friendly.

Interactive and illuminated ice installation

Approximately 25,000 pounds of sculpted ice will transform the Gore Creek Promenade into a 3D canvas conceived by Moya. Featuring Moya’s distinctive woven forms and shapes, the installation will be a splendor for all ages. Meander through ice features measuring 5-12 feet tall during the day or in the evening when the installation is illuminated until 10 p.m.

“It’s been an interesting process to translate my painted shapes to three-dimensional forms,” Moya said. “The installation can exist almost as a living version of my work with photographs — the figures and landscape interacting with the abstract.”

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Visual artist Olive Moya in front of her recently installed mural at the Vail Transportation Center.
Art in Public Places/Courtesy photo

“As an artist who often makes public work, I’m always confronted with the impermanence of my pieces. Once it’s out in the world, people, weather and time will alter what I’ve made, but it’s a reminder that we don’t exist in a vacuum; we give and take from each other and our surroundings. To see how it grows or changes is the cycle of everything and appreciating each moment as it exists is valuable,” Moya said.

Lantern display and workshops

Festoons of colorful lanterns will span above the International Bridge in Vail Village including lanterns painted by Moya. A display of over 100 luminarias created by local children will also surround the area during the opening celebration 4:30-6 p.m. Dec. 19.

Free lantern workshops at Vail Public Library | Dec. 19

Reserve your time: noon to 1 p.m. | 1:30-2:30 p.m. | 3-4 p.m.

These are three one-hour paper lantern workshops with Alpine Arts Center. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting or 970-479-2344.

Space is limited per workshop and participants must be registered in advance. Masks are required in the Vail Public Library.

Complimentary lantern making kits and virtual instruction

A limited supply of complimentary lantern kits will be available at the Vail Village Welcome Center on Dec. 12-26. Create your own lantern through a virtual demonstration with Alpine Arts Center

Display your lantern

Share your lantern on the designated shepherd hooks on the International Bridge for all to enjoy on social media by tagging #artinvail, @discovervailco and @vailgov.

About Olive Moya’s mural at the Vail Village Transportation Center

Moya combines a wheat pasting application with her signature bold palette in the large interior mural now on view at the Vail Village Transportation Center by La Cantina. The installation combines glimpses of Vail’s past complemented with her contemporary style as it moves down the stairs and out to the main entrance of Vail Village.

Moya, a Denver-based artist, selected a candid photograph of the short-lived iconic Ice Bar at Mid-Vail, along with a more polished promotional image of the Vail gondola. The images which were sourced by the Colorado Snowsports Museum — both date from the late-1960s.

First, she enlarged the images and adhered them to the walls, later adding her playful pigment. Her use of color and brushwork is thoughtfully considered creating a connection between the past and the present. She highlights items which may go unnoticed like the shovel, the cup on the table at the ice bar and even delineates the gondola cables with her bold patterning.

Moya, with fellow artist Emily Hope Dobkin, unveiled a prominent mural celebrating the new Martin Building this Fall at the Denver Art Museum.

Information about the 15th annual Vail Winterfest may be found on or by contacting Molly Eppard, Art in Public Places Coordinator at or by calling 970-479-2344.

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