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Park City Ski Hub pieces carve out place in art world

As a gateway to North America’s most extensive ski area, Canyons Village at Park City Mountain is already one of the world’s premier winter tourist destinations.

Now, thanks to three new breathtaking pieces created by acclaimed sculptors and local partners, it’s on the verge of becoming world-class for its public art too.

That’s a moniker the ski base will undoubtedly possess when Nathan Pierce, David Wiener, Harris 3D Studio, and Identity Signs finish constructing works designed to both inspire visitors and draw them closer to the beauty and history that exists in a unique part of the Wasatch Mountains.

“These are monumental, eye-popping pieces of art,” said Tony Tyler, partner at Canyons Village developer Columbus Pacific and member of the Canyons Village Management Association (CVMA) Design Review Committee. “There’s no doubt they will provide a vibrant addition to Canyons Village a a whole and serve as focal points where people gather.”

For his sculpture, Missouri-based Pierce looked to the renowned ski area’s many attributes, especially the amount of sun it receives on a typical winter day.

The 3D piece features coloured resin panels that capture and refract sunlight on the surrounding plaza near the bottom of the Cabriolet; an open-air gondola that transports resort visitors between the upper Canyons Village and the Lower Village and parking lot.

Aptly named “Bluebird” – a term used to describe a ski day marked by a cloudless sky—the sculpture offers a different experience from one angle to the next.

Pierce, who specializes in large public sculptures and whose work is on display everywhere from Chicago to Florida, conceived of the arrangement when considering “what it is that we remember about outdoor adventures and natural brilliance,” he said.

On the other hand, Wiener’s creation is more of a nod to Park City’s Olympic and ski racing history, which the Parkite is intimately familiar with.

Called “Grand Prix,” the piece, which is comprised of three offset, curved columns and is located between the Village’s Forum and the new Pendry Plaza, “honours the excitement and suspense of movement as it relates to winter sport and the reward of achieving beautiful, arcing turns on a mountain as extraordinary as Park City Mountain,” he said.

“My choice of three towers is inspired by competition and the gold-, silver-, and bronze-winning positions in sport,” added Wiener, whose background is steep in car design and auto racing. “The circular oculus at the top of each tower represents the sun shining down on each athlete carving turns on the way to glory.”

For “The Ribbon,” John Simmons, CVMA Planning & Operations and Design Review Committee Manager, approached Harris 3D Studio and Identity Signs with a 2D concept to install at the roundabout at the entry of Canyons Village.

“All involved agreed this concept was the one—a simple-yet-complicated rendition of the logo that would greet all visitors that entered the Village,” said Brent Albers of Identity Signs. “And as they circle the roundabout, the more iconic it becomes. From straight-on, the piece is a simple example of the Park City logo. As you move around the piece, see the varying arcs and slopes; the art becomes more complicated, yet simply endless.”

The three sculptures are integral parts of CVMA‘s long-term public art plan for Canyons Village, which is also slated to include a self-guided art walk highlighting all the Village has to offer.

Pierce and Wiener were selected from dozens of applicants from all over the country by members of the Canyons Village Design Review Committee, staff, and key stakeholders. The group chose the two based on a set of criteria that included overall height (of the project), available footprint, and desired theme and/or materials used.

“We hope that the placement, size, materials, and thought process around each piece will stimulate conversations and leave our visitors with a smile on their faces,” Tyler said. “I know when I see them, it makes me happy.”

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