Vail summer features pine beetle art |

Vail summer features pine beetle art

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily"Fence Bow," by Ben Roth, who will install a piece made from pine-beetle-killed trees in Vail in the coming weeks

VAIL, Colorado – Outdoor art classes for kids and adults are among the programs planned this summer by the town of Vail’s Art in Public Places program. The classes take place at the Vail Nature Center.

Also, two “Steelroots” sculptures by artist Steve Tobin will be on extended loan to the town and will be placed in Lionshead and Vail Village. Beginning next week, artist Ben Roth’s art installation using beetle kill lodgepole pine will be in Ford Park.

On Tuesday, the Vail Fire Department and A Cut Above Forestry will cut standing dead lodgepole pines selected for this project from East Vail. The trees will be transported to the lower bench of Ford Park, where Roth’s installation will be constructed.

Roth plans to dissect the trees from root to top and will arrange the 90-degree structures in an interactive pattern. Viewers will be able to see the formation and growth of a tree. As most trees are sawed at a cross section, this will be an opportunity to examine the growth of tree and branches in the entirety of the tree’s life.

“Seeing these trees die during our lifetime is only a narrow snapshot of the life of a forest,” says Todd Oppenheimer, senior landscape architect 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.”

A native of Colorado, Roth lives in Jackson, Wyo.

“What is it about an Aspen branch, or bend in a stream that is so arresting? That is the impact I want to capture in my work,” says Roth.

Roth works in steel, glass, bronze, clay, and wood. His public projects in Wyoming incorporate standing, dead Aspen and pin trees. At first glance, these works – “Aspen Fan,” “Continuous Aspen” and “Fence Bow” – appear to be curiosities of nature or mirages.

For more information, contact Art in Public Places Coordinator Molly Eppard at 970-479-2344 or

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