Triumph Winterfest Ice Sculpture event underway in Vail |

Triumph Winterfest Ice Sculpture event underway in Vail

Daily staff report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Lawrence ArgentDenver artist Lawrence Argent's rendering of what the "Conduit" ice sculpture will look like.

VAIL, Colorado ” An exciting ice sculpture, titled “Conduit,” is beginning to take shape this week as Vail’s second annual Triumph Winterfest art event debuts Friday along the Gore Creek Promenade, just steps from the Children’s Fountain in Vail Village. A project of Vail’s Art in Public Places (AIPP), the exhibit has been designed by Denver artist Lawrence Argent and is being sculpted this week by Scott Rella, an internationally-acclaimed ice sculptor, and his talented team, Paul Wertin and Rob Capone.

The spiral-shaped sculpture measures 28 feet across and features a wall of ice blocks that steadily increase in size from two to nine feet high, culminating in a giant ice mollusk shell. The artwork serves as a cold and colorful reminder that millions of years ago Colorado was under a prehistoric sea. Evidence is often found locally in the form of seashells. As an additional effect, the ice forms are being illuminated with colorful, energy efficient LEDs that have been programmed to change color throughout the evening.

An official lighting ceremony to celebrate the exhibit’s completion will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday at the fire pit on Gore Creek Promenade. AIPP Coordinator Leslie Fordham says the lighting ceremony provides an opportunity to stop by and see the lights, take photos, meet the artists, warm up at one of the nearby fire pits, do some shopping and dine at one of Vail’s many restaurants.

Argent is the artist responsible for the Big Blue Bear sculpture that has become the signature of the Denver Convention Center. Argent, along with ice sculptor Rella, whose works have been seen across the country, including the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, created “Conduit” to delight Vail’s visitors and to encourage them to be mindful of the environment. The artistic duo collaborated on the 2008 Triumph Winterfest to create “Verdant Meadows,” 17 illuminated ice sculptures reminiscent of blades of grass.

The illuminated ice exhibit will be on view each day and evening throughout the winter until the sculptures melt. Heightened security has been arranged as a precaution.

The ice exhibit is among a series of activities presented by AIPP to complement Vail’s many cultural offerings. Also taking place this month will be live metal casting demonstrations, Jan. 24-25.

For more information on AIPP activities, contact Fordham at 970-479-2344.

What: Triumph Winterfest Ice Sculpture lighting.

Where: Along the Gore Creek Promenade in Vail, near the Children’s Fountain.

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Cost: Free.

More information: Call 970-479-2344.

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