Vail public art that’s meant for play |

Vail public art that’s meant for play

Molly Eppard
Art in Public Places spotlight
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily

VAIL, Colorado – As a part of the 2004 streetscape renovation in Vail, artist Robert Tully of Louisville, Coo., was commissioned to create a work in Eaton Plaza called “Cloudscape.”

The plaza is dedicated to the memory Earl Eaton, a founder of Vail who, in 1957, guided his friend and co-founder Pete Seibert on a hike that led them to the vistas of what is now Vail ski resort.

The installation consisting of three large sculptures not only reflects the Colorado environment, but is interactive and meant to be engaged as “play sculptures.” The large cloud sculpture and cloud portions on the animals are made from Colorado marble while the bodies of the bear and bighorn sheep are made from limestone.

A few areas of the work – including the leafy garland around the bear that happens to weigh in total 5 tons – are painted by hand in the ancient tradition of painting stone

Tully describes “Cloudscape” as an imaginary landscape with the “clouds as a unifying element.” The chimes are tuned to specific notes and play different harmonies depending upon which chime is touched first by a hand or by the wind.

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The installation sits on recycled rubber material with the red signifying the earth and the blue a symbol of the nearby stream.

Robert Tully’s public art is located throughout the country. Two works in Colorado can be found at the playground at the Denver Children’s Museum and at Colorado State University. Most recently, Tully completed a commission for the entrance to Whistler Village for the 2010 Olympic Games.

His work can be enjoyed in other locations in Vail and at surrounding playgrounds. For a list and self-guided tour of Vail’s public art, visit

Molly Eppard is Vail’s art in public places coordinator

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