Antlers Art | Artists in Residence at the Antlers at Vail

Unique Artistic Additions at the Antlers at Vail

It’s official – the Antlers at Vail has a beautiful, spacious new lobby and a speedy new elevator that accesses all floors of the hotel. Local interior design firm Casey St. John has crafted bespoke interiors for the new space. Large windows pour natural light into the new lobby and elevator foyer. General Manager, Magdalena King, wanted to tie together these new spaces with art that would not only adorn the lobby, but would be unique to the Antlers. She wanted this art to enhance our guests’ and homeowners’ feeling of being in the mountains. She sought to commission two very talented artists to help her achieve this goal. Enter artists Cindee Lundin and Bonnie Wakeman who have fulfilled this vision and created one-of-a-kind pieces for the Antlers at Vail. 

Cindee Lundin, Faux Bois Artist

I had the opportunity to talk with Cindee Lundin a few weeks back, and had the pleasure of asking her questions about her as an artist and the pieces she has created for the Antlers at Vail. Cindee was an educator, and also painted murals in people’s homes. She has always had a knack for painting and enjoys it immensely. While studying to continue her career as an educator, one of her clients encouraged her to study art and painting instead. 

On the way to Artistry 

Cindee felt compelled to study art and wanted to pursue her passion. She changed fields of study, and began studying art fundamentals and art history. Cindee has now been creating art for her clients for 25 years. Cindee is intrigued by concrete faux bois art. Concrete faux bois is the artistic rendition of creating the appearance of wood grain using cement, stones, and gems. Faux bois art is now recognizable by many. Martha Stewart even began featuring her own faux bois collection a few years ago. Cindee is proud to create faux bois pieces and enjoys being part of this artistic movement.

Custom Faux Boix Panels for the Antlers at Vail

The collection she has created for the Antlers at Vail is all original and unique to the hotel. There are 73 pieces in all. From Cindee’s Artist Statement; Images of mountains are carved into concrete, trees are represented in the faux bois panels, the minerals and the riches of the mountain are symbolized with natural stone elements, semi-precious gemstones and crystals. The movement of the mountain streams are also represented throughout the compositions. The connection between us and nature is strong here. Cindee will be in residence with us in the spring of 2020 when she will install her faux bois panels.  

Bonnie Wakeman, Sculpted Relief Artist

A sculpted and painted scene of a majestic elk in front of the Gore Range is one of the first decorative elements you will notice upon entering the Antlers lobby. Bonnie Wakeman recently completed this sculpted relief when she was in residence at Antlers last month. Bonnie was gracious enough to take some time away from creating the sculpted relief to speak with me about the piece she has created and her journey as an artist.

From Illustrator to Sculptor

Bonnie’s background is in illustration and design. She moved to the mountains in the early nineties. Bonnie began painting murals in her clients’ homes in Keystone, Breckenridge, and Vail. In 1995 her and her husband took a trip to Italy where she noticed sculpted relief everywhere. She wanted to bring this back to the US and so began crafting a plaster medium which can be sculpted wet and dry. Everything she has worked on in her life has come together in this art form. The pieces she creates involve mountain scenes and aspen groves, African safaris and lions, as well as any other scene her clients bring inspiration and passion to. She enjoys bringing the beauty of nature indoors through sculpted relief. Every blank wall she sees now looks to her a fresh canvas. 

A Sculpted Relief that just suits the Antlers

The incorporation of antlers through a bull elk and the Gore Range in the background is one of the elements of this piece that she loves most. The aspens give the impression of being in a grove as the limbs even wrap around the adjacent walls. She has enjoyed partnering with the Antlers at Vail to create a piece that was exciting for her to design, sculpt, and paint.

We are delighted to share these talented artists’ work with our guests and homeowners. 

Are you interested in commissioning art similar to what you have experienced at the Antlers at Vail for your own home or business? Please visit Cindee Lundin’s website Sticks and Stones Decor and Bonnie Wakeman’s website Transforming Walls to contact the artists directly.

Click or tap on a thumbnail below to view Cindee’s and Bonnie’s art at the Antlers at Vail. 

Antlers at Vail employees lend a helping hand to Roundup River Ranch

Antlers at Vail Employees Volunteer

In the shoulder season, activity around the Antlers at Vail slows down a little. It’s in this season that our staff likes to take time to see how we can give back to our community. There are a wide variety of excellent charitable organizations in the Vail Valley. One Sunday this fall, we shuttled down-valley to Gypsum to give our friends at Roundup River Ranch a helping hand.

About Roundup River Ranch

Roundup River Ranch is an incredible organization. They specialize in providing children the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors at summer camp. The children invited to Roundup River Ranch are some of the bravest around; they are those that face serious illnesses everyday. Their campers have the opportunity to take a true vacation from being “a patient” and get back to the fun of being a child. At the camp children are provided the medical, physical and emotional support of healthcare professionals – All the while having a great time participating in activities like horseback riding, canoeing, stargazing, and making arts and crafts. Camp at Roundup River Ranch is always free of charge for all kids and families who attend. This worthy non-profit is funded by the communities that the camp serves.

We were grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with Roundup River Ranch. We spent a day out of the office, and away from the condominiums that we usually look after, to clean the facilities at Roundup River Ranch. At the end of their busy summers it’s all about the cleaning, and we were happy to pitch in for the cause. Some photos of our staff helping out are shown in the gallery below. If you would like to make a donation to Roundup River Ranch, we invite you do so. Just visit the Roundup River Ranch website by following this link.

Our friend, Pete Huttlinger

The first time I saw Pete Huttlinger in person was at a concert in Breckenridge with Jim Salestrom.  It wasn’t a full-on John Denver tribute, but given Jim’s inclination and Pete’s history with JD, there was no shortage of Sunshine On My Shoulders and Thank God I’m A Country Boy.

Pete Huttlinger

Far more impressive than those covers, was Pete’s unbelievable solo talent on his acoustic guitar. I’ve always found that regardless of one’s sophistication in any artistic discipline (or in my case, lack thereof) … when exposed to a talent that is truly one of the world’s best, it makes an appropriate and unforgettable impression.

Not only had Pete played backup for John in the early 90’s, but he also did some of the arranging for the famous Wildlife Concert, as well as others.

Pete's banjo

Later, after John Denver’s death, Pete played with LeeAnn Rimes, Vince Gill and more than a few other “household names”.  His talent couldn’t be summed up any more completely or simply than LeeAnn’s reference to him as a “complete genius”.

Evelyn had met Pete once or twice in Aspen at a couple of the early “official” John Denver tribute concerts. In each case their meetings were brief and included a number of other people.  Nevertheless, when we saw him in Breckenridge that day he greeted Evelyn like a long lost friend, not someone he had barely met. I quickly came to treasure that humility and warmth, which was as much a part of Pete as his incredible skill on the guitar.

Wonderful testimony of that kindness came when I had the nerve to ask Pete if I could use his music as background for some marketing videos we were producing for Antlers 2000.  I expected him to tell me all about ASCAP and licensing issues and costs, etc.  Instead, despite the fact that he didn’t know me from Adam, he said, “Absolutely … use whatever you want. No problem.”  Just like that … that was it. When I asked him if I could pay him he said, “No, that’s okay … just send me a copy of whatever you do.  I’d love to see it.”   I’m still blown away by his generosity.

Not only did I use a couple cuts off his Catch & Release CD (arguably the best solo acoustic guitar CD ever recorded), but we stayed in contact over the next few years.  When we had the Grand Opening celebration for the Antlers redevelopment in 2002, Pete came and played a private concert for our friends and owners.  I sincerely doubt if the Antlers conference room will ever be host to more talent than it was on that day.Pete 1    Grand opening crowd 1

Over the years, Evelyn continued to stay in touch with Pete and his lovely wife, Erin.  We had the pleasure of fishing with Pete on the Roaring Fork (his favorite pastime other than playing music) and later had them over for dinner. Pete enjoyed playing Evelyn’s John Denver signature guitar that evening and it will never, ever sound better.

fishing with Pete

After many years of heart and health problems, Pete passed away last week at the ripe old age of 54. It’s a sad day.  A tragedy.  Thousands of people will miss him, but few more than us.  Here’s to you, Pete.

– Rob

It’s a Big World … Not

So we’re giving a site tour to four lovely wedding consultants from A Touch of Bliss in Denver.  We had just come out of #420, one of our largest, most beautiful four bedroom-condos.  We’re walking down the hallway to show them #311, a super nice one-bedroom, overlooking the swimming pool.  Just making conversation, one of the young women, Zoie, asks me, “Are you from Colorado?”

“As a matter of fact I am.” I reply, “I grew up in Littleton.”

“Really?” says Aimee Thomas, another one of these very charming wedding planners, “Where in Littleton?”

“Oh, way down south, almost to the Ken Caryl area”

“No kidding? My mother’s house is in that area.”

I ask where.  She tells me it’s close to Platte Canyon Road. I tell her that we lived near Coal Mine and Platte Canyon.  She acts a little surprised and I say, “It’s a little community called Normandy Estates.  You’ve probably never heard of it.”

The look on Aimee’s face goes from surprised to incredulous.  “Heard of it?  We live in Normandy Estates.”

“NO WAY!” I say, “What street?”

“Ontario”

Gulp.  “Circle or Way?”

“Circle”

“OMG”  At this point I’m starting to shake a little. Ontario Circle is a cul-de-sac and only has about eight or ten houses.  I tell that to the others and they’re all pretty much in disbelief as well.

“6755” I say.

Aimee turns a little pale.  “6755 W. Ontario Circle?”

“Are you kidding me? No way.”

(queue the eery music)

“That’s my house.” she says.

I tell her that we lived there from 1960 to 1972 … moved out 42 years ago.  She tells me the carpet’s been changed.

Yikes Stripes.  Beechnut gum.

Aimee Thomas c

Aimee and Rob, same house, 42 years apart

An All-Day Planning Session on Sustainability… Fun? Really?

Last week I got an invitation to volunteer an entire day to do an “alignment workshop” with the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability.  On the surface, that offer was slightly less than compelling.  Given my somewhat stressed schedule (so what else is new?), I was really tempted to just say, “Sorry”.

Because it was my friend Kim Langmaid (the new President of EVAS) asking, and because the Antlers has been the Official Hotel of EVAS and largely because Bob Vanourek was facilitating (who’s at the very top of my all-time business heroes list), I said yes.  It turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in awhile.

Fifteen of the brightest people I know, led by a genius, in an incredibly valuable planning session.  What’s more, it was actually fun.  Bob’s alignment process addresses everything from Purpose, Vision, Values and Goals, to Strategy, Structure, Action Steps and Communication.  Much of that is covered in his book Triple Crown Leadership, plus a whole lot more.  

We spent the entire day on the initial “high-level” pieces.  As a sidebar, when we were talking about the Purpose of the organization (what many call a “Mission Statement”) I was particularly struck by one of Bob’s slides.  It reflected the stated purpose of the United States Humane Society … Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty.  Wow … how’s that for powerful?  It made me think that every Mission Statement ought to be limited to four or five words.

At the end of the day, I admitted to feeling somewhat guilty that I had only spent half the time thinking about the future of EVAS, and the other half applying it all to the Antlers. I can’t wait to put it into practice.  Happily, EVAS has already started to.

Rob

Bowling with the Governor

Not too long ago my friend Jenn Bruno, who along with her husband owns one of the nicest stores in Vail, Due Luca Bruno, told me that she was helping the Red Sandstone Elementary School with a fundraiser to hire a librarian (what an admirable goal).  She proceeded to tell me that the fundraiser was similar to the Mask Project, only it would be bowling pins that would be auctioned off.  Fun!  Then she said that Elaine Kelton told her I knew Governor Hickenlooper and asked if I could get him to sign a bowling pin.

Whoops … who said I knew the Governor?!  I’ve MET the Governor.  It would be a stretch to say that I KNOW him.  I guarantee you that the Governor doesn’t KNOW me.  Oh well, what the heck … I’ll try.

I called my friend Trisha Smith at CACI (who KNOWS people in the Governor’s office) and asked for her help.  True to form, she said that she’d try … bring her the bowling pin.   When I told Jenn that we’d do our best,  she asked if he would decorate the pin as well as sign it.

Uh, no … the Gov may SIGN the pin, he isn’t decorating anything.  He’s kinda busy.  After a little further discussion though, Trish suggested having someone paint the Capitol Building on the pin.  After all, it’s shaped a little like a bowling pin.  I passed that idea on to Jenn, and she loved it.  A week later she dropped off a fabulously decorated bowling pin, complete with the Gold Dome.

 

The fundraiser is February 1, so now we’re running out of time.  Fortunately, yesterday was the annual CACI Business Day at the Capitol and guess who was the keynote speaker?  How convenient.  As he approached the head table I cornered him and said, “Governor, I’ve got a crazy favor to ask … would you sign this bowling pin for an elementary school fundraiser?”  Being the affable guy that he is, the response was predictable … “Sure I will, got a pen?”

Larry Laszlo, one of the best photographers in Denver, was nice enough to send me these pictures.

For what it’s worth, the Governor’s subsequent talk and response to the Q&A cemented my admiration for him.  I can’t tell you how lucky I think we are in Colorado to have Governor Hickenlooper and his team running this state.

And I’d say that even if he hadn’t signed the bowling pin.

 

Antlers at Vail Front Desk Staff Goes to Leonora

If you are looking for somewhere new to eat in the Vail Valley, check out Leonora located in the Sebastian in Vail Village.

It has a unique menu inspired by Spanish cuisine, with flavorful dishes all thoughtfully paired with wines from around the world. The menu consists of a raw bar, tapas, and flatbread choices, followed by the main course of soups, salads and then entrée. Leonora is laid out in a circle, the bar in the middle, allowing a more intimate dining experience

Starting with the raw bar we ordered scallop, salmon and tuna ceviche. The scallop dish was topped with caviar and had white truffle drizzled over. It was a unique combination that tamed the caviars salty taste. The tuna ceviche was my favorite; it contained bits of chopped tuna, fresh herbs and wasabi, this was a table favorite and every bit was eaten up.

For the Tapas we enjoyed the shrimp slider, lobster taco, and the patatas. The patatas were round cut catalan style potatoes with garlic aioli and spicy tomato sofrito dolloped on top, this was also a table favorite. I ordered the shrimp sliders and really enjoyed them, it was that something different that I needed to really balance out all the seafood that I was eating. The Maine lobster tacos were great,  and with four of them we each had our fair share.

We decided to leave some room for the entrée, so we skipped the flat bread (although, it sounded delicious) and moved onto the soups and salads. We tried a variety and enjoyed them all. The lentil soup was delicious and with stewed tomatoes, smoked bacon and the parmesan cheese; it tasted reminded me of chili. The roasted beet salad combined the earthy beet taste with the sweet candied walnuts and honey giving it a unique taste. We also tried the pear salad with fresh Anjou pears, Roquefort cheese and the glazed walnut for extra crunch. The Frisee salad with its exceptional bacon vinaigrette combined with the poached egg went great along with the asparagus and toasted brioche.

For the entrée we had a variety. Starting with the pan-seared tuna with fennel, littleneck clams, and white bean stew. Having ordered tuna from many of the surrounding restaurants, this tuna was expertly prepared and went well with the sides. Next we tried the slow roasted lava lake lamb with bean cassoulet and marguez sausage. The slow roast allowed the lamb to stay juicy and when mixed with the bean cassoulet, it created and exquisite taste.  The mussels sitting in the delicious parsley and shallot broth were also exceptional.  The striped bass with scallops, shrimp, and mussels with black rice and saffron tomato broth was an interesting pairing of foods, and lacked in flavor. Last we tried the braised veal cheeks, which was an interesting flavor and very easy to eat. This dish also included olive oil mashed potatoes, which were very good, tiny carrots and green peppercorns. I would say that the veal cheeks and the lava lake lamb were the stars in the entrée round.

Lastly, for those of us who still had room, was dessert. I enjoyed a dessert cherry wine with my melted chocolate sphere, the waiter poured this delicious chocolate sauce over the sphere and it melted the top away exposing these cherry yummies inside. We also tried a lemon meringue tart, that had crumbled with pistachios and edible sparkles.

This is a great place to sample wines in a relaxed environment or to dine with friends and sample some different foods.

To make reservations call (970)477-8050, or check out the menu online here, on opentable.

Students Shoulder to Shoulder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will act as if what I do makes a difference

This Vail Symposium poster hangs in our office and we at the Antlers try to live by those words.  They help guide many of our decisions, including our efforts to be good corporate citizens.  We are quite proud of our record in that regard, and frankly it just got a little better.  A couple months ago, Bob Bandoni introduced us to Students Shoulder to Shoulder.  Their tagline is “The International School of Global Citizenship”.  Rather than try to explain what that entails, we just urge you to investigate their website.  It’s meaningful.

 

Although the program is five or six years old, Bob explained that they were planning their first Global Solutions Forum here in Vail, in October.  The idea was to bring representatives together from the various NGO’s around the world and the schools who now participate with Shoulder to Shoulder.   The real purpose is simply to further their success and advance the mission.  It took all of about two minutes to recognize the value and importance of this effort.  In the context of our day to day preoccupation with our own lives and businesses, the opportunity to play some small part in something so meaningful was irresistible.

Last week, the Antlers was honored to host ten representatives from a number of the different schools that are now part of the Shoulder to Shoulder “alliance”.  Like some of the other worthy causes that the Antlers has adopted over the years, this was all done at no charge to the participants or their schools.  By helping making it affordable for them to participate in this conference, we like to think that the Antlers is playing a small part in the fulfillment of their mission. 

Like all great ideas, Bob Bandoni and the others behind this effort see it as something much bigger.  It’s not just personal growth for the students, but rather a significant step on the path to making this a better world.  That’s a lofty goal, but one which the Antlers is really proud to be associated with.

 

 

Adventure Film School students capture Teva Games

If you are lucky enough to be out enjoying the Teva Mountain Games this weekend keep an eye out for some very focused camera men and women. Most are students with the Outside Adventure Film school, a partnership between Outside magazine,  and Serac Adventure Films. While most of us are enjoying the activities, basking in the sun, and relishing the crisp clean mountain air, they are working their butts off! Students, with the aid of some very talented instructors and experience film makers will be spending their days trying to get the best footage of the games and their participants and spending their nights editing and piecing it together to create a short adventure film. The results of their hard work will be showcased here at the Antlers on Tuesday June 5! Come by and see the fruits of their labor!

The last adventure film school students came away making an amazing documentary entitled High Ground. I strongly recommend that if you have a chance you MUST go see this movie. It is currently touring the country through film festivals and has earned (deservedly) a lot of accolades!