Making Avon’s Main Street glow
Vail, CO Colorado
AVON, Colorado ” At one end of Avon, Colorado’s future Main Street, you’ll find a fireplace carved out of a Colorado River boulder. On the other end, by the library, you’ll find a colorful pile of letters as if spilled off a book cover.
Main Street, on which construction will begin this spring, will feature a wide variety of public art. Planners say the renovated downtown is supposed to be a vibrant and bustling place ” a hard image to pull off if the streets themselves are drab and lifeless.
While members of the town council said they were impressed with the art work chosen for downtown, Mayor Ron Wolfe identified a still looming question: “Are we over-decorating Main Street?”
If needed, the town can scale back other improvements to Main Street to make sure there’s enough money for the public art pieces, which are really the big draws, councilman Brian Sipes said.
Here’s a tour through the art pieces planned for Main Street.
When you turn off Avon Road onto Main Street, you’ll see “Emergence,” a mountainous sculpture made of steel and glass that acts as the gateway to downtown Avon.
“Inspired by soaring mountains and forests rising from the valley floor, Emergence climbs out of the ground like tectonic plates reaching toward the heavens,” says Britina Design Group, the town’s Main Street design consultants, in its written description of the piece.
“Emergence” is anchored to the ground with rust-colored steel and, as it rises up, you’ll see blue and green glass columns, which light up from the inside, and could change color during different seasons.
Planners say this sculpture will be a key landmark on Main Street, as it sits at the main entrance for cars and pedestrians.
“It’s very important this piece makes a statement,” said Martha Wiedmann, art consultant.
Lettuce Shed Lane will connect Avon’s main bus stop and the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa to Main Street. This will be one of the main gathering spots on Main Street, so the artists have designed “Gathering Point” to be a fireplace area with seating, all designed to give the plaza a sort of “livingroom” feel.
The fire pit is located in a large bowl carved from a single boulder from the Colorado River, and is held in place by sandstone. The seating around the fire pit will look like a small amphitheater.
As you stroll down Lettuce Shed Lane, you’ll see a long, twisting metal ribbon mounted in the planters. Step closer, and you can read poems about the four seasons on the ribbon.
“These poems serve to reinforce the theme of time and the interconnectivity of the past and present,” says Britina.
The bustling center of Main Street will be the open plaza area by the Seasons and the Sheraton. Here, you’ll find a colorful mosaic at your feet illustrating Avon’s place on the Eagle River and pointing out famous mountain ranges and peaks and local flora and fauna ” sort of like an old globe or map seen in a children’s book.
There aren’t any large sculptures here, as planners wanted to keep this area pretty open. You will see some vertical columns scattered about that connect strings of lights from one side of the plaza to the other. The columns themselves will be lit from the inside with markings on their sides resembling glowing stars.
Planners say the lights on these columns and others on Main Street are low level and don’t glare, meaning they’re well within the town’s dark skies ordinance.
There will be a prominent walkway between the library and recreation center where you’ll find a series of sculptures and paintings.
Baer will paint durable polycarbonate panels with scenes from our community’s history and culture. There will be mountain ranges, a pioneer woman, snowflakes and a ski slope, among many images, and they’ll all glow in the sun.
“It really loves the sunlight,” Baer said.
The polycarbonate works will be held up with leaf silhouette sculptures made of steel.
This path leads to the library, where you’ll find “A Tower,” a large stack of As of different colors and type fonts in the center of the roundabout.
Main Street ends where it meets up with Nottingham Park. Here you’ll find the “Wave” sculpture, a series of arcs made of steel, glass and sandstone that spray water.
The sculpture should remind you of “Emergence” at the other end of Main Street. Like “Emergence,” it’s sort of a gateway and frames your view of Nottingham Park and the lake.
The fountains can be programmed and the water will be collected in a drain and reused.
“Inspired the natural environment, these graceful arcs feel as though they are bending in the breeze,” says the description.
Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 970-748-2955 or email@example.com.
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