Art with exuberance in Vail
August 27, 2010
VAIL, Colorado – Children might run through its splashing waters to cool off during Vail’s hot summer days, but the Children’s Fountain in Vail Village is more than a splash toy for kids.
The town of Vail brought in the sculpture in 1986 to celebrate children and art as part of its Art in Public Places program, which the town introduced two years earlier. It’s been a fixture ever since.
Deane Knox, owner of the Knox Galleries with locations in Beaver Creek, Denver and Michigan, commissioned the bronze-sculptured Children’s Fountain along with Gordon Pierce on behalf of the Art in Public Places program, says Molly Eppard, the town’s Art in Public Places coordinator.
The artist, Dennis Smith, of Utah, calls the Children’s Fountain piece in Vail an “assemblage of five images of children in exuberance.”
The five sculptures at the fountain show five figures, made out of cast bronze with patina, playing atop four tall pedestals. Each figure was made with a unique stance, but all of them showcase innocence, excitement and a “celebration of the human spirit,” according to Smith. Originally, there also were petite, bronze-cast animals.
There are children playing beneath those sculptures on just about any hot summer day in Vail, illustrating the very purpose Smith had in mind when he created the Children’s Fountain.
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The fountain kick-started the town’s Art in Public Places program, Eppard says – it’s one of Vail’s most precious jewels in terms of the town’s public art collection.
“People really love that fountain,” she says.