Gordon Huether Awarded Major Public Art Installation in Vail, Colorado

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The Vail Town Council has recently approved Gordon Huether’s design for a permanent, site-specific public art installation at the I-70 Vail Underpass. Ultimately, the Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places (AIPP) board selected Huether on April 1st, 2016 for this project.

Gordon Huether Awarded Major Public Installation in Vail, Colorado

Gordon Huether Awarded Major Public Installation in Vail, Colorado

...[Gordon Huether] has demonstrated great success in previous projects and we are anticipating his extraordinary caliber of artistic talent to be integrated in this highly visible installation... ~ Molly Eppard

Artists Vicki Scuri and Adam Kuby were also finalists selected from the more than 80 artists who applied to be considered to create proposals for this site.

The installation will become part of the headlight glare screen at the south edge of the planned South Frontage Road roundabout. Huether’s innovative and timeless approach responds to Vail’s world-class culture and underscores its identity. Construction is expected to conclude at the latest in December 2017. The sculpture is expected to be installed in Spring/Summer of 2017. The work will also function as a light mitigation wall for an adjacent residence.

“We are enthusiastic for this opportunity to work with Gordon Huether and his studio on this major public art project in Vail. He has demonstrated great success in previous projects and we are anticipating his extraordinary caliber of artistic talent to be integrated in this highly visible installation for our residents and guests of Vail to enjoy for many generations,” explains Molly Eppard, Art in Public Places Coordinator, Town of Vail.

Huether’s conceptual approach to this project is based on the quality of motion and the various modes of movement one experiences throughout the Vail Valley. Huether also wanted to convey the visual experience of passing a stand of Aspen trees on horseback - the illusion of tree rows ‘opening’ and ‘closing’ when the rider moves past. Ultimately, the goal for this installation is to convey the beauty of Vail’s astonishing landscape.

The installation will be fabricated with two layers of Corten steel, each featuring four mountain range silhouettes, plasma cut into the surface. Each layer of steel measures 130 feet, for a total of 260 linear feet. The installation will vary in height, between 2 feet and 6 feet from the stonewall that will serve as the base of the headlight glare screen.

There will be a significant sense of pattern in the installation, with gentle mountain shapes juxtaposed with the strict vertical shapes of Aspen trees. The two visual elements will add a kinetic effect and depth to the installation. When motorists pass by, the installation will appear to be in motion as well.

LED lights will be installed between the two layers of Corten Steel, illuminating the installation at night and accentuating its gentle curves. The integrated lights will evoke the effect of sunlight twinkling through Aspen trees and the beautiful colors of the mountain scape at dusk. LEDs will bring additional dimensions of vibrancy and warmth to the installation, adding drama and excitement to the visual experience.

The final visual element in the installation pays homage to the waterways of Vail Valley. Sixteen 6” x 6” inch blue fused glass pieces will be inset into the stonewall bass and add additional rhythm, complexity, brilliance and color.

The I-70 Vail Underpass project received joint funding for Design and Construction from the Town of Vail via the Vail Reinvestment Authority and CDOT via RAMP funds. The location of the I-70 Vail Underpass will provide intermodal connectivity between the north and south frontage roads at a location half way between the Vail Town Center and West Vail roundabout interchanges. The total budget allocated for this public art installation is $330,000.

About Gordon Huether Studio
Gordon Huether has mastered the challenge of creating art in a multitude of environments and mediums. The scale of his work ranges from large architectural installations for public commissions to small intimate works of art for private collections and residences.

Since founding Gordon Huether Studio in Napa, California in 1987, Huether has worked extensively with glass on a large scale and has also created works incorporating salvaged materials, bronze, aluminum, steel, light, water and neon. All work is fabricated at Gordon Huether Studio by artisans who are internationally recognized for their creativity, technical ability and craftsmanship.

Huether's talent for intuitively reacting to the materials and the space they occupy, whether indoors or out, has led to the successful completion of over 60 public art projects and more than 160 private art commissions.

In 2009, Huether was the recipient of several awards, including the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network (PAN) Best Public Artwork in the US Award for the “Gotta Go” art installation at the Jacksonville International Airport.

In 2015 Gordon Huether and his team have been selected to work with the Salt Lake City Department of Airports in meeting the goals of the Terminal Redevelopment Program at Salt Lake City International Airport, which includes a comprehensive art master plan. The brand new state-of-the-art terminal, currently one of the largest construction projects in the United States, will showcase Huether’s art throughout the new terminal.

For more information, please visit http://www.gordonhuether.com.

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Darcy Tunt
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