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 Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor

Antlers at Vail Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor

Antlers at Vail Ranked #1 on TripAdvisor

It was just about a year ago that we decided to execute a Reputation Management strategy. We made a decision to really put ourselves out there to be judged by our guests, actively soliciting guest feedback and TripAdvisor reviews from all of our valued guests. I, for one, was a little nervous executing the plan. The first step was to make sure all of the front line employees knew the plan and were on board with it. There was not a single objection and we moved forward.

In 2015 we received 253 reviews versus 133 in 2014, almost doubling our reviews pace. Our average TripAdvisor rating increased from 4.54 in 2014 to 4.70 in 2015 (thanks to owner support of a quality improvement plan). And then, just this week we moved from the #2 ranking in Vail’s Specialty Lodging category to #1 — WOO-HOO!

We expected to see a benefit to our business from the increased focus on Reputation Management but I think the most surprising impact has been showing us where we can improve business processes. Going into this, I thought that we had a great staff and culture and by just making sure to be on our game that we could see these types of results, especially with all of the condominium improvements to which the owners had committed. But the largest benefit has probably been having guests point out areas that we hadn’t thought about improving. We received a negative review a few months back from a guest who had left behind a hat that was important to her. She contacted us and we did our best to locate it, but to no avail. It was an eye opener as to the fact that our lost and found process needed improvement. Some items ended up in housekeeping and others at the front desk. Our newest member of the housekeeping department, who is now Executive Housekeeper, took initiative and created a process where every item found in a room (or anywhere else), goes to her with the date and location of where it was found. It’s working – our “completion rate” at returning items which are left at the Antlers and found by a staff member is approaching 100%!

Thanks so much to our Antlers guests for helping us achieve this ranking of #1 on TripAdvisor — we know we couldn’t have gotten there without you sharing your positive experiences and providing feedback on how we can improve. And, last but not least, a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our owners who have made tremendous investments improving their condominiums over the past two years. In July we were designated as an overall platinum-rated property and owners continue to raise the bar. Keep your eyes out for upcoming photos of a renovation just completed last month that is really over the top!

Antlers Featured Homeowner

Antlers at Vail 1-Bedroom Residence: Featured Homeowner

Remodeled spring of 2015 to become a platinum-rated condominium

New wood flooring, stone fireplace, ceiling beams and beautiful new furniture make the living space of this one-bedroom Vail condo a relaxing place to unwind after a day of mountain adventures.

New wood flooring, stone fireplace, ceiling beams and beautiful new furniture make the living space of this one-bedroom Vail condominium a relaxing place to unwind after a day of mountain adventures.

Mel Timmermann and his wife Catherine were original Antlers at Vail hotel owners. A salt-of-the-earth John Deere tractor dealer from Litchfied, Illinois, Mel was a favorite of the staff. He always went out of his way to make sure everyone knew they were appreciated, particularly housekeeping. Sadly he passed away a number of years ago, but his children continue his legacy at the Antlers. This spring one of his daughters, Kathy Caloia, directed a significant remodel to the family’s 1-bedroom residence that included reconfiguring the bedroom for a larger king bed by adding a new wall and French doors, replacing the old fireplace with new stone surround, installing a beautiful wood floor in the living and kitchen areas accented by wood ceiling beams. New lighting throughout and elegant new furniture completed the design. The Antlers at Vail is proud to add this 1-bedroom residence to our ever growing list of platinum-rated condominiums.

Why did you and your siblings choose to keep the family’s vacation home at the Antlers?

We created many wonderful family memories over the years making the Antlers a special place for all of us. My father frequently said that he hoped the condominium would stay in the family for generations. Last summer the 4th generation of our family made her first trip to the Antlers. We are very grateful to our parents for having the foresight to provide this wonderful vacation home.

What is special about your newly remodeled Antlers vacation home?

The newly configured large king bedroom is a real plus. The newly configured bedroom, along with the attention to detail that went into the living space creates a warm, comfortable updated space for our guests to enjoy.

To see a slideshow with photos of the remodeled condominium click any of the thumbnails below.