Beauty of bicycles rolls into Vail | VailDaily.com

Beauty of bicycles rolls into Vail

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily"Dune Cruiser," by Todd Van Vleet
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VAIL, Colorado –Todd Van Fleet, who will display his art in Vail this weekend, always knew he wanted to be an artist. In Lander, Wyo., a small town nestled in the middle of the Wind River Mountains, there is no shortage of awe-inspiring vistas and breathtakingly beautiful scenery to capture and entice an artist’s eye. Whether it was drawing, painting or taking “really bad pictures” with his dad’s old Pentax camera, Van Fleet was driven to express his artistic impulses.

Today, he’s realized that dream – he’s a freelance artist, creative director and photographer based in Denver. He focuses on his vintage bicycle portraits, a direct reflection of his love for what a bicycle means to him – freedom, innovation, ingenuity, simplicity and the wind-in-your-face-feeling of being a kid again. Van Fleet wowed audiences during the Spotlight Track at Imaging USA 2009 in Phoenix, Ariz. with his innovative tips and stylized methods.

Van Vleet is taking part in the Vail Art Festival, which kicks off from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday in Lionshead. The festival continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. He answered a few questions in advance of the event.

Vail Daily: What is your favorite piece?

Todd Van Fleet: “Dune Cruiser. To get this image, I loaded up my Jeep with my family, my gear and piled on as many vintage cruisers as I could. We headed out to see the Great Sand Dunes National Park. My goal was to capture a vision I had of an old rusted-out bicycle sitting in solitude in what appears to be a beautiful wasteland known as The Dunes.”

VD: What inspires your work?

TVF: “My love of bicycles and being in the outdoors. Being able to pack up my family, my stuff and go exploring.”

VD: What brings you to the Vail Arts Festival?

TVF: I have always loved the Vail Valley, spending many days snowboarding at Vail Resort. This seems like the perfect platform to display my work. I feel very fortunate to be in the Vail Arts Festival for the first time, and look forward to talking with people who love art, and bicycles, as much as I do.”

Visit Van Fleet’s Web site at http://www.toddvanfleet.com for more information.