Wind-Powered Sculpture Creates Light Show in Colorado
A public exhibition, which recently debuted in Vail, CO, provides a dazzling view of the town’s environmental commitment. Founded as a ski resort in 1962 and incorporated as a town in 1966, the Town of Vail and the Vail Recreation District recently made a three-year commitment to offset 100% of their electricity use through the purchase of wind power.
To further display this commitment, Vail’s Art in Public Places (AIPP) announced the national debut of “The Windmill Project,” a much-anticipated, large-scale visual sculpture that converts wind into light. Designed by Denver artist Patrick Marold, the sculpture includes 2,700 custom-made windmills that have been installed on a hillside above the 17th green at the Vail Golf Course.
The installation was completed with help from a 26-member crew, who drilled holes and placed the eight-foot windmills across a 9,000-sq.-ft. area. Community volunteers and several groups of high school students assisted with the installation.
The unique sculpture began showing its power at the popular ski town, when movements of the wind created dramatic waves of light across the hillside. The windmills light up when the wind exceeds 5 m.p.h.
“At times it was like a giant birthday cake covered in candles,” said Leslie Fordham, AIPP coordinator. “Then, gusts would blow across the sculpture and create vertical glow sticks of light. It was spectacular.”
Viewing of the sculpure will be offered to the public through April 22, 2007.
The Windmill Project is the first large-scale exhibit to be sponsored by Vail’s Art in Public Places. The Windmill Project was chosen by AIPP because of its natural connection to Vail as a living piece of environmental art.
When selecting Patrick Marold to stage the first public exhibition of this visual art event, AIPP considered a number of factors, such as the kinetic qualities of the artwork, the glowing lights, large size of the installation, and the fact that Marold had wind energy in mind when he first conceived of the windmills to “reveal the shape of the wind.”
The Windmill Project underscores AIPP’s strong commitment to provide world-class works of art in Vail and to further position the town as a leading cultural destination. For more information about the Windmill Project, visit www.artinvail.com.
Art in Public Places (AIPP) was established in 1992 to promote and encourage the development and public awareness of the visual arts. Vail’s art collection includes colorful murals, playful neon signs, vibrant water features, unique fences, and animated play structures.
AIPP also offers a number of items for sale that are branded with the Town’s distinctive logo, including chocolates, jewelry, and the town’s famous manhole covers. AIPP has received national and international attention for its creativity and innovation in launching a manhole cover campaign. For more information, visit www.ownapieceofvail.com.
Abstracted from Market Wire Newsletter, 3/19/07.