Town of Vail unveils three new public art installations
Vail’s Art in Public Places program has added three new installations in Lionshead, Vail Village and Stephens Park
The Town of Vail has just added three new public art installations to its collection as part of the town’s Art in Public Places program. The works of art, which include two murals and one sculpture installation, have been placed in highly-trafficked areas of Vail Village, Lionshead and Stephens Park, and are meant to be encountered and interacted with on a daily basis.
“We really just want to create a new experience for both residents and guests by consistently having something new to enjoy in the visual arts,” said Molly Eppard, the Art in Public Places coordinator.
Vail Transportation Center
Inside the Vail Transportation Center, directly next to La Cantina restaurant, is a new wall mural completed in May by Denver-based artist Olive Moya. Moya enlarged archival photos of Vail in the 1960s that were sourced by the Colorado Snowsports Museum. After applying the black and white photos to the wall using a wheat pasting technique, she then painted on top of them with her signature bold brushwork and vibrant colors.
“What’s fun about this installation is that we are connecting the past of Vail’s history in a contemporary style,” Eppard said.
Plants in the park
Over in the Stephens Park Playground, artist Ben Roth installed sculptures of 20 horsetail grass plants that have been thoughtfully placed around the playground.
“Our goal for the playground was a supersized riparian (riverside) environment,” Roth said. “As kids climb the stump and look up at the horsetail grass they get the perspective of a riverbank’s smaller creatures.”
This is the 10th interactive playground art that the town of Vail has installed. Like the others before it, Roth’s sculptures are intended to be played on and interacted with by children visiting the park.
“So many playgrounds are just bought out of the box,” Eppard said. “This is creating a unique experience for the children to engage with art, whether they are aware of it at the time or not.”
The Worst Crew’s latest installation
The latest installation of the summer is being completed this weekend by street art muralists Pedro Barrios and Jaime Molina, who together form the art group “The Worst Crew”. In an extension of their 2019 mural on the wall of the Lionshead parking garage, Barrios and Molina have transformed the large cylindrical vents to the west of Dobson Ice Arena into colorful works of art.
“Getting to paint on something like this is super fun because it’s out of the ordinary,” Molina said. “It’s kind of expected to see art on a wall, it doesn’t stop you in your tracks, but these are unique. They’re really tall, and they interact with each other and will interact with everyone that walks by them.”
The murals, which feature human faces rendered in the same style as their 2019 piece, are intended to celebrate the sense of family and community that is foundational to our shared humanity. Since the vents are located outdoors, Molina said he is especially looking forward to watching the work transform in different seasons.
“We’re making them now in the summer, so we’re trying to make them super bright and vibrant, but it’s exciting to picture them covered in snow and contrasted against a stark white background, or in the fall when all of the leaves turn yellow,” Molina said.
All three installations are now available for viewing, just in time for the Vail Arts Festival this weekend taking place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. around Lionshead Mall and Arrabelle at Vail Square.
For those looking to further engage with the Town of Vail’s public art collection, which currently includes over 60 works of art, the Arts in Public Places program will be offering free one-hour walking tours every Wednesday from July 7th to September 1st. For more information, and to access a digital map of Vail’s public art installations, visit artinvail.com.