Public art installation completed at I-70 underpass |

Public art installation completed at I-70 underpass

Daily staff report
The recently completed roundabout at the Interstate 70 underpass in Vail features "Roundabout the Mountain," a 112-foot site-specific work of art selected by the Art in Public Places board.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — More than 80 artists submitted their portfolios for consideration in Vail’s Art in Public Places installation at the south roundabout of the recently completed Interstate 70 underpass. After whittling it down to three finalists, Gordon Huether’s “Roundabout the Mountain” was selected for the site-specific art.

“Roundabout the Mountain” is a corten steel mountain range silhouette which is illuminated in the evening. The 112-foot installation is a visual experience of motion moving through the space with its plasma cut vertical sections while it serves as a headlight glare screen. It also incorporates fused blue glass panels in the stone wall representing the Gore Creek.

“There is a significant sense of pattern in the installation, with gentle mountain shapes juxtaposed with the strict vertical shapes,” Huether said. “The two visual elements add a kinetic effect and depth to the installation. The LED lights installed between the two layers of corten steel illuminate the installation at night and accentuate its gentle curves. The integrated lights evoke the effect of sunlight twinkling through aspen trees and the beautiful colors of the mountain scape at dusk, adding drama and excitement to the installation. It conveys a visual experience of passing a stand of aspen trees — the illusion of tree rows ‘opening’ and ‘closing’ as one moves past. Ultimately, the goal for this installation is to convey the beauty of Vail’s astonishing landscape.”

The location of the I-70 Vail underpass will provide access to the frontage roads between the existing Main Vail and West Vail roundabout underpass interchanges.

“Art in Public Places was extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with Gordon Huether and his studio on this major public art project in Vail,” said Molly Eppard, Art in Public Places coordinator. “He incorporated his extraordinary caliber of artistic talent in this highly visible and functional installation for our residents and guests of Vail to enjoy. It is certainly a significant addition to the town of Vail’s public art collection.”

About Gordon Huether Studio

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 more than 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 Best Public Artwork in the U.S. Award for the “Gotta Go” art installation at the Jacksonville International Airport.

In 2015, Huether and his team were 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 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.

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