Vail Today: Free Wednesday Art Walks in Vail offer education and awareness of art (video) | VailDaily.com

Vail Today: Free Wednesday Art Walks in Vail offer education and awareness of art (video)

Although we are surrounded by beautiful scenic vistas in the Vail Valley, there are works of art within the town of Vail that appeal to the eye as well. We pass by many of these pieces of art every day and some are more noticeable than others. You can't miss the 10th Mountain Division soldier next to the covered bridge on Bridge Street, standing at over 12 feet tall, while other artworks are more subtle, such as the riddles on Wall Street.

The free Winter Wednesday Art Walks aim to point out these features and educate tour-goers about the history of the Vail Valley, the founding of Vail Mountain, the master planning of the village, and the importance of site-specific art. The town of Vail's public art collection includes over 47 works of art.

"This is a wonderful activity visitors and locals alike can do after they come off the mountain. People always tell me 'I have lived here or have visited Vail for many years and never knew the meaning behind the artwork or even saw some of the art'," said Molly Eppard, coordinator for Town of Vail's Art in Public Places.

While most of the art is meant to be viewed, some of the public art invites kids to play in, on and around it. The Pirate Ship Park located at the top of Bridge Street acts as a playground formed within a structure that resembles a boat and is a favorite for kids year round. In the summertime, the bronze statues of children jumping in what’s known as The Children’s Fountain are surrounded by dozens of little kids splashing around and playing in the fountain below.

One bit of trivia, the children's drawings that comprise the mural, "History of the Gore Valley" at the bus stop at Slifer Square, contains the artwork of Olympians Toby Dawson and Sarah Schleper. Dawson won a bronze medal in 2006 for moguls and is the coach of the Korean national freestyle skiing team. Schleper will return to the Olympics for the fifth time in South Korea. They were local school children when this mural was assembled back in the mid-80s.

Learn more about the art that surrounds us in Vail by joining this free tour at 3:30 on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, or grab a free map or download a map in case you can't wait until the next tour at http://www.artinvail.com.