Hawaiian high tide inspired Vail art work | VailDaily.com

Hawaiian high tide inspired Vail art work

Molly Eppard
Art in Public Places Spotlight
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyBetty Gold's Kaikoo III stands east of the Vail Library on West Meadow Drive near the Gore Creek Trail

VAIL – Betty Gold, the artist who created Vail’s Kaikoo III, was born in 1935 in Austin, Texas.

After earning a degree in elementary education and art history from the University of Texas, she was an apprentice to sculptor Octavio Medillan in Dallas. In 1990, Vail was fortunate to receive a monumental welded steel sculpture by Gold, from patrons and philanthropists David and Micki Chatkin of Pittsburgh, Pa. The Chatkins donate one of Gold’s sculptures every year to a nonprofit organization of Gold’s choice, and in 1990 she chose Vail’s Art in Public Places.

A dedication ceremony took place in February of 1991 in conjunction with an exhibition of her paintings and maquettes (or working models for her larger scaled work) at the former gallery Arnesen Fine Arts in Lionshead.

Kaikoo III is one sculpture in a series of 17 works inspired by a trip to Hawaii. In a recent telephone conversation, Gold talked the trip that was pivotal to her work.

She was unable to enjoy the water activities and snorkeling because of the “kaikoo,” the Hawaiian word for high tide. Because she could not go in the water, she found a desk and began creating the maquettes that would become the 17 monumental steel sculptures in her Kaikoo series.

“I turned my energy into work,”Gold said.

Gold begins her work with the form of a simple rectangle and “cuts it up.” She reassembles her divided rectangle into three dimensional working maquettes and the result is the dramatic, non-objective geometrical steel sculpture. The elements of her works are welded into one, creating a “holistic” monumental work. Bold in color, most of Gold’s sculptures are painted in primary colors, occasionally in white or in their natural steel patina.

Gold’s work is in hundreds of public and private collections around the world. Gold’s sculptures may be found at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of art at Pepperdine University, the Duke University Medical Center, Baylor University, the U.S. Embassy in Slovakia, the Ronald Reagan California State Building, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea, the Albuquerque Art Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.

Gold currently lives in Venice, Calif., and Palma de Mallorca, Spain and is working on sculptures for forthcoming international exhibitions.

Visit http://www.artinvail.com to see a calendar of dates for free guided art tours of Vail’s public art collection.

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

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