Arctic snow sculpture visits Vail |

Arctic snow sculpture visits Vail

Molly Eppard
Art in Public Places Spotlight
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyKarl Krueger's polar bear in Vail Village was built so it wouldn't collapse when exposed to sun or warm weather

VAIL, Colorado –Architect Karl Krueger is generously sharing his artistic talents with the town of Vail’s Art in Public Places.

Krueger’s polar bear snow sculpture, installed in Vail Village last week, is located at the intersection of Gore Creek Drive and Wall Street, across from the Children’s Fountain. Krueger originally built the polar bear to take the death-defying leap at the Snow Daze Dummy Demolition competition last December. Luckily for the residents and visitors of Vail, the snow polar bear caught an edge early in his descent and never made it to the jump.

Krueger describes his snow polar bear as a winter sculpture experiment.

“I wanted to create a snow sculpture that would last longer, look lighter and be mobile,” said Krueger.

His used a wooden frame and wire mesh lath. He then applied 3 to 4 inches of slushy snow, of a similar consistency to stucco, to the frame.

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“The wooden and wire frame prevents the sculpture from collapsing under its own weight after exposure to sun and warm temperatures,” Krueger said.

The polar bear is mounted on 7-foot long circa 1985 skis to provide mobility when necessary.

Krueger’s art works range from traditional oil paintings to mixed-media sustainable constructions, such as corrugated cardboard chairs and tables. He uses everyday materials for his art objects.

Karl Krueger, born and raised in the Vail Valley, received his master of architecture from Yale University in 1998. His awards and recognition in architecture are numerous. He received the AIA Young Architect award in Craftsmanship from AIA Colorado in 2000; the Franklin W. Gregory Scholarship for Design Excellence from Yale University in 1998; and the Ralph Sollit Outstanding Thesis Project from University Notre Dame in 1990. His work includes residential, commercial and industrial projects.

Have your photo taken next to the snow polar bear before he leaves the Village.

To learn more about this majestic Arctic creature that is a potentially endangered species, visit

Join Art in Public Places for a free guided tour of the Vail Village and its art collection at 3:30 p.m. March 3, at the Vail Village Information Booth. Visit for a calendar of remaining tours.

Editor’s note: The Vail Daily is running weekly spotlights on public art in Vail over the next few months. Molly Eppard is Vail’s art in public places coordinator

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