Installation of Chihuly Sculpture Honors 25th Anniversary of the Center
January 25, 2023 – Beaver Creek, CO — The Vail Valley Foundation’s Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek celebrated 25 years of bringing art and culture to the downtown area last month by installing a long-anticipated Dale Chihuly glass chandelier in the grand foyer of the theater.
When the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC) was originally built, Beaver Creek was just growing into the world-renowned resort community that it is today. Community members hoped that the new theater would become a place where locals and visitors alike could gather to enjoy the arts in their mountainous home.
At that time, plans for the 530-seat theatre were drawn and included a grand centerpiece in the foyer, a Chihuly sculpture. Dale Chihuly’s glass art can be seen in famous backdrops across the globe. From exhibits in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center to the Toyama Glass Art Museum in Japan, each Chihuly piece makes an inventive statement wherever it is on display.
Though the planned sculpture was not installed during the initial build, a Chihuly piece was recently donated to the Center to help bring original plans to fruition thanks to a generous donation from long-time Vail Valley Foundation board member Doug Rippeto in honor of the theater’s 25th anniversary. Coincidently, the Chihuly sculpture installed was also built 25 years ago.
Creating the perfect display was key to bringing the full beauty of the sculpture to life; this is where Encore Electric came in. Encore Electric installed a specialty light display designed specifically for this Chihuly piece, lighting the shimmering, golden glass from top to bottom.
The previous fixture in the grand foyer area.
Jeff Lake, service technician, was the only Encore Electric electrician on the project. Lake has been a part of many projects at the VPAC, becoming the trusted Encore Electric expert at the venue.
“I love working with the VPAC,” said Lake. “The facilities team and Vail Valley Foundation are great to collaborate with and always so helpful. I go and see live music there all the time, and it’s pretty cool to see the work I’ve been part of when I visit.”
After completing the electrical and lighting work surrounding the Chihuly display, installers began building the blown glass piece, which consists of more than 200 pieces. The only two Chihuly-approved installers of the sculpture spent three days putting the piece together.
“This project is a great example of things coming together in the right place at the right time,” said Pete Palmgren, Encore Electric Business Unit Leader. “It’s amazing that the VPAC team found this Chihuly, created the same year that the theater was built, at the time of their anniversary and that Encore Electric had the opportunity to light this meaningful piece. We are proud to be a part of the VPAC’s 25th anniversary.”
The long-awaited Chihuly piece was unveiled at the Vilar Performing Arts Center’s season-opening concert held right before Christmas.
“The VPAC is an incredible asset for our entire community, and we are honored to display such an extraordinary work of art, by this renowned American artist, as the venue’s centerpiece,” said Mike Imhof, President of the Vail Valley Foundation.
Everyday visitors from around the world come together connected by the visual and performing arts housed at the venue, a sign that it has truly become the gathering place that the community had envisioned 25 years ago.