Take a walk on Vails artistic side | VailDaily.com
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Take a walk on Vails artistic side

Caramie SchnellVail, CO, Colorado
AE Art Walking Tour 1 DT 7-11-07
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Riddle me this. What does an outline of Chinas borders combined with a picture of a cereal bowl add up to?A series of cryptic paving stones line Wall Street in Vail. Wondering what the puzzles mean? Leslie Fordham, the Art in Public Places coordinator for the Town of Vail, knows the answers, and shell likely share her knowledge on Sunday during a free walking tour of Vails outdoor art collection. Vail has more than 37 pieces in its public art collection, Fordham said. More than half of the collection is by Colorado artists. Its not all bronze bears either Its drainage grates with a pine cone motif. Its playgrounds with an environmental theme. Its Aspen leaves etched into windows and stamped into concrete, Fordham said.The puzzles were designed by Denver artist Carolyn Braaksma and finished in 2004. Most of (the tiles) have something to do with Vail or skiing. Theyre called rebuses and were popular in the court of Louis the XIV, Fordham said.The easiest puzzle to figure out is the aforementioned two-paver piece, which is, you guessed it, China Bowl a throwback to the expert ski terrain in Vails Back Bowls.There are 12 riddles in the collection, and indeed, when people cant figure them out theyll call Fordham for the solutions, she said.

Often times visitors to Vail inquire at the information booth, or call Art in Public Places inquiring about the artwork and the artists themselves. The tours are a way for people to find out more about the art, Fordham said.For example, the 10th Mountain Division Memorial is so popular that we have to get a specialist to restore the piece annually. The white paint wears off the gloved hand from people touching it, Fordham said. In addition to the towns public art collection, many of the galleries also have sculptures. Here too there is eclecticism In one gallery youll find kinetic art for the garden, in another youll find bear cubs climbing a tree.The tour is set to meet at the Ski Museum in the Vail Village Parking Structure. The hour-and-a-half long tour will lead participants up and down Bridge Street and Wall Street. The tour will wind around the Childrens Fountain, cross the International Bridge and is set to finish up at La Tour restaurant on Meadow Drive. I asked a gallery owner what was needed to make the tours a success, Fordham said. His answer was a party atmosphere. And thus each participant will be given a free drink upon arrival at La Tour, which will likely help lubricate further art centric chatter.Arts & Entertainment Writer Caramie Schnell can be reached at 748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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