SOURCE: Art in Public Places

March 19, 2007 15:25 ET

Wind Powered Environmental Sculpture Creates Light Show in Vail, Colorado

Vail's Windmill Project Available for Viewing Through April 22, 2007

VAIL, CO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 19, 2007 -- Vail's Art in Public Places (AIPP) is pleased to announce the national debut of "The Windmill Project," the much-anticipated large-scale visual sculpture that converts wind into light. Designed by Denver artist Patrick Marold, the sculpture is made up of 2,700 custom-made windmills that have been installed on a hillside above the 17th green at the Vail Golf Course.

The installation was finished Sunday afternoon with help from a 26-member crew who worked throughout the day drilling holes and placing the remaining eight-foot windmills across a 9,000 square foot area. Community volunteers and several groups of high school students assisted with the installation over the past seven days.

The unique sculpture began showing its power at the popular ski town Friday night, when movements of the wind created dramatic waves of light across the hillside.

"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."

To view the exhibit, AIPP offers the following tips:

--  Dress appropriately for the weather and wear waterproof boots or bring
    snowshoes or Nordic skis.
--  Park at the Golf Course parking lot and hike out to the site by
    following the landscape lights on the sleigh track. No additional flash
    lights or head lamps are needed.
--  Begin looking for the windmill lights when you're parallel with the
    houses at the east end of Sunburst Drive. This is about a five-minute walk.
--  Stay on the path. Avoid walking up into the windmills until snow slide
    conditions improve.
--  Views from the frontage road are possible, but not always optimum
    unless the wind is blowing intensely.
--  The windmills light up when the wind exceeds 5 mph. Check the wind
    velocity on the town's web site at
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. The kinetic qualities of the artwork, the glowing lights, large size of the installation and the fact that the artist had wind energy in mind when he first conceived of the windmills to "reveal the shape of the wind" all appealed to AIPP in the selection of Patrick Marold to stage the first public exhibition of this unique and exciting visual art event.

AIPP's sponsors for the Windmill Project include East West Partners, CTA Integrated Communications, Holy Cross Energy, Weitz, Vail Valley Foundation, Kracum Resources LLC, Wenk Associates, Renewable Choice Energy, Plaza Lodge Associates, Ltd., KH Webb Architects and Mr. and Mrs. Clark Willingham.

The Windmill Project underscores AIPP's strong commitment to bringing world-class works of art to Vail to further position the town as a premier cultural destination and extends Vail's cultural calendar, which already includes high profile music, film and dance events.

For more information about the Windmill Project, go to or call Leslie Fordham at (970) 479-2344.

About the artist: Patrick Marold has been creating sculptural responses to environmental relationships, urban and rural, for more than 10 years. His work includes large outdoor projects that actively collaborate with the elements, to smaller sculptures that bring the environment into a more intimate scale. His work has been featured in museums, galleries and public spaces throughout the United States and abroad. Mr. Marold received a B.F.A. in 1997 from Rhode Island School of Design. He is the recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship Award and other prestigious honors.

About Vail, Colorado: Vail was 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.

About AIPP: 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 for its manhole cover campaign. Please visit for more information.

Contact Information


    Town of Vail - Art in Public Places
    Leslie Fordham
    (970) 479-2344

    CTA Integrated Communications
    Shirley Thompson
    Bevo Beaven
    Sr. VP - General Manager
    (303) 665-4200