‘The Singing Trees’ opening celebration in Vail | VailDaily.com

‘The Singing Trees’ opening celebration in Vail

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Join the town of Vail’s Art in Public Places today and Saturday for a celebration of the environmental art installation “The Singing Trees” in Vail’s Ford Park. Using beetle-killed lodgepole pine, artists Ben Roth and Brad Watsabaugh transformed an area on the lower bench of Ford Park into an environmental and educational art installation. Roth and Watsabaugh dissected the trees by hand with chainsaws from root to top. As most trees are sawed at a cross section, this is a rare opportunity to examine the growth of tree and branches in the entirety of the tree’s life. The bluestaining left by the fungi carried by the beetle that ultimately kills the lodgepole pine is visible in these exposed trees. The relocated beetle-killed lodgepole pines stand nearly 50 feet and have been arranged in an interactive and engaging pattern for the viewer with the lower portion of the installation serving as benches.

“This installation captures the raw beauty in what would otherwise be devastated forestry,” said Art In Public Places Coordinator Molly Eppard.

Today, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Witness the exceptional sculpting and sawing skills as Roth and Watsabaugh dissect a beetle-killed lodgepole pine tree and create another environmental sculpture for viewers. Given the natural curvature of a tree, they must saw the tree by sight without the assistance of a laser. This is also an opportunity to learn more about the project, how it came to fruition, and the meaning of “The Singing Trees” with Art in Public Places.

Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.

Meet artists Roth and Watsabaugh to learn more about their work and this project. Members from the Wildland Firefighting Division of the Vail Fire Department and A Cut Above Forestry of Breckenridge will also be present to discuss the installation and beetle-killed lodgepole pines. This is an opportunity to meet those who were essential in installing this environmental exhibit. The Wildland Firefighting Division and A Cut Above Forestry felled standing dead lodgepole pines selected for this project from private property in East Vail. The trees were then transported to the lower bench of Ford Park by the Town of Vail’s Public Works where the installation was created in mid-June by the artists with the assistance of friends, family and the team at Public Works to the applause of onlookers.

“Seeing these trees die during our lifetime is only a narrow snapshot of the life of a forest,” said Todd Oppenheimer, senior landscape architect and capital projects manager for the Town of Vail. “The benefits of the beetle kill for the health of a forest will not happen for 100 to 150 years. It is certainly hard for us witness, but if something good comes out of something bad while it is occurring this is an interesting project.”

For additional information on Art In Public Place’s Art in Nature/Nature in Art summer programs, contact Art In Public Places Coordinator Molly Eppard at 970-479-2344, e-mail meppard@vailgov.com or visit http://www.artinvail.com.

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