Vail artist designs wildlife screen for Dowd Junction Rec Trail
VAIL — The Gore Valley Trail through Dowd Junction reopens for the 2015 season Friday at noon. The screen hides trail users from migrating deer and elk, and allows the trail to remain open during the spring migration season. After 12 seasons of wear and tear, a new artistic screen is being installed this season.
Working with Art in Public Places (AIPP), the new screen, designed by local artist Elaine Kuntz, depicts aspen trees through the four seasons, from the budding of branches in spring to verdant summer leaves, and the golden autumnal leaves to the hint of snow on the branches in winter, the seasons are captured in a simple graphic manner. The wildlife screen design came about in a serendipitous manner and through a bit of investigative work by Gregg Barrie, senior landscape architect, and Molly Eppard, AIPP coordinator.
“My design for the deer screen was first created as art work for our Vail neighborhood transformer box over five years ago,” artist Elaine Kuntz said. “My neighbor helped with the concept and I created a computer graphic design for the AIPP Board to review. Ultimately, we only painted the autumn panel. The design was kept on file with the AIPP coordinator’s office and I was delighted when it was rediscovered. My neighbor, Dee, submitted the application and had changed her phone number, giving the town a bit of detective work to locate the origin of the work. I devised the expanded version and supplied the graphics for printing. Being a retired graphic designer it was a great refresher in the business. It will be fun to see how it all works together in the expanded version.”
While Kuntz is known for her exquisite watercolors, she earned her commercial art degree in 1981 from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland. Her career was launched in the arts as a senior graphic designer for a corporate advertising department. She later worked as an illustrator and art director for an architectural firm in Washington, D.C. In 1998 she retired in Vail with her partner Frank McClure, where she paints the local vistas of the Vail Valley in both summer and winter.
“It was a delight to discover that Elaine was the creator of the graphic design tucked deep in my predecessor’s files. After the design was adapted to be considered on the new wildlife screen, the AIPP Board voted unanimously to proceed,” Eppard said.
Contact Molly Eppard, Art in Public Places Coordinator, for more information at email@example.com or 970-479-2344.