VAIL, Colorado — More than a dozen artists from across the country will come to Vail this weekend to cast iron and bronze at a public outdoor event. The Town of Vail Art in Public Places (AIPP) and the Vail Symposium are sponsoring the “Heavy Metal Weekend” from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the International Bridge, bringing the 5,000-year-old industrial process out of the foundry and onto the streets of Vail.
According to AIPP Coordinator Leslie Fordham, the performances will take place after dark to take advantage of the spectacular visual impact of the process. Artists will dress in fire-safe clothing and load bronze or scrap iron into metal-melting furnaces called cupolas. Temperatures within the cupolas will reach up to 3,000 degrees. Once molten, the fluid is poured into molds created by visiting and local artists. “The fire-resistant suits will make the artists look like invaders from outer space,” Fordham said. “The effect, combined with the flames and liquid metal, will make the event fun to watch for all ages.” The idea for Vail’s iron casting performances came from artist Mark Guilbeau of SPH ARTFunctions who sees the creative processes as being entertaining and educational.
In addition to conducting the casting performances, Guilbeau will lead a workshop where participants can decorate their own 5-inch bowls by scratching designs into prepared sand molds. The workshops, co-sponsored by the Vail Symposium, take place from 10 a.m to noon, Saturday at Donovan Pavilion.
The bowls will be cast in bronze at a free performance that same evening and returned a few days later. Heavy Metal Weekend is one of two free public art events taking place in Vail this month. Visitors to the metal casting performances will also be treated to a great view of Triumph Winterfest Illuminated Ice Sculptures. “One of the best views of the giant ice seashell is from International Bridge,” Fordham said. Triumph Winterfest is located on Gore Creek Promenade and can be viewed day or night.
To register for the bowl-making workshop, contact the Vail Symposium at 970-479-0954 or visit vailsymposium.org. The workshop is $25 for adults and $10 for children under 18. Registration will be allowed on event day, space permitting.
For more information, contact Fordham at 970-479-2344 or visit www.artinvail.com