Fantastic surfboards on display at gallery in Vail |

Fantastic surfboards on display at gallery in Vail

"Dos American," by Bates Wilson.
Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: Bates Wilson exhibition opening.

When: Vail International Gallery.

Where: Exhibit will run from Saturday to Feb. 22. Reception set from Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.

More information: 970-476-2525 or at

VAIL — When sculptor Bates Wilson recently re-located his studio from Santa Fe to Los Angeles, it seemed appropriate to Vail International Gallery owners Marc LeVarn and Patrick Cassidy.

“Bates was always sculpting fish and surfboards, so now he’s just closer to the source of those themes,” LeVarn said.

A popular artist whose work is well-known in Vail, Wilson works in reclaimed and recycled metal to sculpt familiar subjects such as surfboards, guitars and all kinds of fish, some literal and others more fantastic.

During the past five years, the gallery has shipped Wilson’s work to every continent but Antarctica, with many pieces going to collections on both coasts of the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Often of dramatic scale, Wilson’s fish sculptures hang from wires and are balanced in the air as if swimming in their natural habitat. With six new fish sculptures arriving for the show, the back gallery at Vail International will become a virtual aquarium stocked with exotic fish and fantastic surfboards unlike any others in the world.

“We do this every winter now with Bates,” LeVarn said. “It’s a lot of work to turn the entire gallery into a display for one artist, but Bates Wilson’s work deserves this stage. It will be an amazing exhibit to experience in person.”

The exhibition will run from Saturday until Feb. 22 and the opening reception will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, contact Vail International Gallery at 970-476-2525 or at

Support Local Journalism