The Town of Vail has just received a generous donation to its public art collection. Kent and Vicki Logan, two longtime locals and leading art collectors, are donating three outdoor sculptures from their personal collection to the town, which will be installed in locations around the village of Vail in 2022.
The Logan Legacy
The Logans have a deep personal connection to the town of Vail that began when they first set foot in the valley in the 1970s. They were married on the mountain in 1985 and moved full time to the valley to retire in 1999.
Kent Logan, a retired investment banker, served on Vail City Council from 2003 to 2007 and is currently a board member of Eagle Valley Behavioral Health. The couple also helped support many local organizations, especially those that increase accessibility and enrich ski programs at Vail, such as the EpicPromise Foundation and Logan Academy scholarship programs for ski instructors.
In addition to their philanthropy, the Logans are also renowned for their extensive collection of contemporary art, part of which they once exhibited in a private gallery that they built near their home in Vail. Totaling nearly 1,500 pieces at its peak, it is considered one of the finest private collections in the United States.
Now in their seventies and having moved to a residence in Edwards, the couple begin donating their coveted works of art to various museums and collections in order to share the love and heritage of contemporary art with the world.
“We’re more into the final chapters of our art collection, so to speak, which is usually about giving back and making a difference,” said Kent Logan. “It has always been important. It’s easy to write a check – anyone will accept a check – but where does it really make a difference? “
The Logans made their first donation to the Town of Vail Public Art Collection in 2018, installing Lawrence Weiner’s textual work, “In the Measure of the Depth of the Valley at One Time,” at the western exterior of the Vail Valley. parking structure.
“It was about the infinite nature of Vail,” Logan said. “Vail Valley will be here a thousand years from now, and it was here a thousand years before us, and we’re just passing by. It became the symbol of the passages of life, so I thought it was the perfect place for it.
The Logans are now identifying additional works that they believe will be a significant addition to Vail’s public art collection, in what they envision as a phased giveaway.
This first donation of three outdoor sculptures – which were officially accepted by the city last month – marks the start of a broader vision for Vail’s art collection going forward.
“These three pieces are the avant-garde,” Logan said. “I have a number of outdoor sculptures that I would love to find a place for, and I think that can make a difference to Vail. It really brings an artistic dimension to what is a very sophisticated and international destination and resort. “
Middlebrook, Mabry and Kahlhamer
The Logans hand-selected each of the three pieces, which were then approved by the board of seven members of the city’s Art in Public Places program.
Susanne Graff is a member of the board of directors and voted to accept the donation for the city.
“The Logans were incredibly thoughtful and intentional about the pieces they came up with,” Graff said. “It is not because we are in the mountains that each piece has to relate to the mountain. This, to me, is boring. We want to broaden this artistic and contemporary dialogue and open it to these very rich conversations.
“We all build nests”
The first piece is a sculpture by Jason Middlebrook titled “We All Build Nests”. The room is approximately 15 feet tall and consists of an elaborate group of birdhouses, each designed after a different iconic architectural structure, such as the Alamo, the Egyptian pyramids, and the Transamerica skyscraper in San Francisco, for n to name a few.
Middlebrook said the concept for the play was directly inspired by his time in Vail with the Logans.
“Whether we were golfing, hiking, or just sitting on the patio, the birds were always with us,” Middlebrook said. “My goal was to design dwellings for birds and a sculpture that humans could relate to throughout their past travels. “
Each of the nesting boxes is carefully designed to suit the specifications of local bird species, and the sculpture is structured to mimic the shape of an aspen.
Logan said Middlebrook’s piece was a natural fit to donate to the city, as it was inspired and designed for the valley environment.
“We all build nests, we all make homes somewhere,” Logan said. “Obviously we can change it – you can fly to another place, you are free to move – so it talks about freedom, it talks about the importance of home, but in the context of something that is very relevant to the West and to his experience at Vail.
“Two ships (unpacked)”
The second is a bronze sculpture by Nathan Mabry entitled “Two Vessels (Unpacked)”. Hailing from Durango, Mabry’s sculptural figures draw inspiration from a variety of historical sources of art, ranging from ancient civilization to popular culture.
“I have always been fascinated by anthropology and archeology – ritual associations within old and new objects – everything they represent about human culture and human activity, and how it affects the past. , the present and the future, ”writes Mabry.
The figure in “Two Vessels” comes from those used in Jalisco’s fertility rites, placed atop a minimalist box. The positioning of the figure instantly evokes links with Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker”, but the totem-shaped sculptural style and intense facial expression make it difficult for the viewer to identify the desired effect.
This challenge is precisely the experience Logan hopes the sculpture will elicit in passers-by in Vail.
“It defies the senses,” Logan said. “I like a lot of different decorative arts, but they don’t make you think. You can have a large sculpture of a bear or a mountain, and you can admire the technique and the representation, but all of a sudden someone stumbles upon this piece by Mabry and says, ‘What’s up? does he act? “
Graff agrees that getting viewers to engage more deeply with public art and ask questions is part of the goal of incorporating these new sculptures.
“Being able to present these works of art to the public, you don’t really know the effects they might have, or the conversations they can trigger,” Graff said. “Some people will hate certain pieces, others will love it, and that’s the richness of a work of art. It really does spark conversations, dialogue, emotions, and you can keep coming back to those pieces and each time you’re going to find something new and different.
“Waqui Totem USA (Urban Class Mark V)”
The third and final sculpture is a bronze totem pole by Brad Kahlhamer. Kahlhamer is of Native American descent, but was adopted by German-American parents, and he uses art as an exploration of what he calls “Third Place” – the meeting point of two opposing personal stories.
Logan is one of the main patrons of contemporary Native American art and, for the past five years, has helped the Denver Art Museum grow its collection of these works.
“Brad is one of the first artists in this vein to appear in my collection,” said Logan. “We’re personal friends, we go back a long way, and I said, ‘Why don’t you make a contemporary totem pole? This is the challenge that I launched.
The resulting sculpture, titled “Waqui Totem USA (Urban Class Mark V),” stands just over 10 feet tall and was originally constructed from cardboard. Now recast to bronze, Logan believes it represents the history of the West and will add another layer of awareness to the path that brought us here.
“To me, it represents that part of history – the good parts and the bad parts – that have really been hidden in American history as we have studied it in schools,” Logan said. “It was truly genocide. It makes you think, and intellectually that’s what engages me. I look at him and my mind will go in different directions.
Elevation of the Vail Public Art Collection
The Art in Public Places board still determines where each artwork will be installed, but Graff said he intends to place all of them in the village of Vail. The installations will likely be completed next summer.
“They leave a legacy, but they also give it to all the local kids here, who may or may not be exposed to a larger art world,” Graff said. “There’s this surface of being this generous gift of art as a commodity, but it’s really about this deeper generosity of experience. Who knows, a child might see the Mabry, and it might really change the trajectory of that child’s life. It can open his eyes to a whole different way of creating art, interpreting art or being moved by art.
The Logans have also expressed their intention to continue donating pieces to the city, while also working to enhance other local art initiatives, such as an artist residency program or the restoration of the art shack building. of Ford Park into a community art space.
“I don’t want this to be a one-time event, but to be part of the start of a larger strategic plan,” Logan said. “It’s a step. If it’s about raising awareness and developing a step-by-step strategic plan, then that creates something much bigger over a ten-year period than just placing three sculptures in downtown Vail.
There is much to look forward to in the development of Vail’s art scene, but these three sculptures alone help elevate public art in the Valley.
“Logan’s gift really uplifted the conversation and uplifted Vail in this contemporary global dialogue, which is so awesome,” Graff said. “I mean, we are a world class ski resort, and now we can say that we also have a world class open air museum. How cool is that? “