SOURCE: Art in Public Places

February 08, 2007 07:00 ET

World's Largest Wind Powered Environmental Sculpture to Debut in Vail, Colorado

"The Windmill Project" Slated for Debut in U.S. Rocky Mountains Spring 2007

VAIL, CO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 8, 2007 -- Celebrating its strong support of public art and its commitment to wind generation, Vail, Colorado will be the world's first host city for Fulbright Fellowship Award winner/Colorado artist Patrick Marold's "The Windmill Project."

"The Windmill Project," the first public art exhibit of its kind and scope in the world -- a unique visual sculpture that converts wind into light -- will make its debut in one of the world's most popular ski resorts, two hours west of Denver in the U.S. Rocky Mountains. The project is sponsored by Vail's Art in Public Places (AIPP).

Marold's traveling sculpture is scheduled to debut in Vail when the artist and his team complete the assembly and placement of approximately 3,000 custom made ten-foot-tall windmills on a hillside adjacent to the Vail golf course. The exhibit is designed to be viewed at night starting at twilight, when movements of the wind stir the windmills to life. The result is a stunning visual experience as the wind creates living bodies of light that move in dramatic waves across the hillside.

The idea for the project was conceived when the artist was inspired by the constantly changing winds of Iceland while he was living there in 2001.

"The Vail Town Council and AIPP are pleased to introduce this powerful environmental sculpture to the world. Vail has always been known for its leadership in innovation and the windmill project is symbolic of that," said Leslie Fordham, Vail's Art in Public Places Coordinator. "'The Windmill Project' underscores our strong commitment to bringing precedent-setting, world-class works of art to Vail as part of our goal to become a premier cultural destination."

The site selected for "The Windmill Project" will be easily visible to the public from I-70 and from the frontage road beside the Vail golf course. At night, people will be able to watch the gusts weave over the landscape. The windmills will "reveal the shape of the wind with a living presentation of momentary light," Marold explained.

The high-tech windmills have been engineered by the artist to produce light in minimal wind conditions. The design employs generators made in Germany, custom-designed translucent polycarbonate shafts and LED lights.

"We believe the sheer size of the exhibit will provide a remarkable viewing experience for people each evening when the breezes move through the 3,000 windmills, painting the hillside in constantly changing patterns of light," said Jen Mason, AIPP board chairman. "This first-of-its-kind environmental sculpture not only illustrates the beauty of the wind, it visually demonstrates the role of wind as a key renewable energy resource."

The exhibit has drawn the attention of the U.S. Department of Energy's Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy, Andrew Karsner, who will meet the artist during a visit to Vail in March.

A special Web site ( is in development that will give information about how and where to best view the exhibit, offer links to lodging packages, and provide announcements of special events and other details regarding the exhibit. Visitors who register at may request email updates about "The Windmill Project" as well as Vail's other upcoming visual arts programs.

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