As many Jackson Holers know, local artist Ben Roth recently collaborated with friend and fellow artist Brad Watsabaugh, creating an extraordinary public art project for the ski town of Vail, Colorado. The project, “Singing Trees,” captured the Inter Mountain West’s creative community’s attention — the artists received quite a bit of press and media coverage.
A few days ago, Roth and Watsabaugh were interviewed for Vail’s morning television show, “Good Morning Vail.” The artists got a chance to discuss the project, one that made use of dead lodgepole pines killed by mountain pine beetles. Roth explained that the art form is a temporary one—although the placed trees can remain standing for quite some time. Trees are “manipulated” by the artist, so that their beauty and embedded messages about their living time on earth are more accessible to people who wish to view the work.
The trees are split top to bottom, so that one half of the tree remains vertical, while its other side rests horizontally, like a bench, above the ground. All the work was done by hand—no lasers, etc. Watsabaugh and Roth’s individual creative spirits fed one another, making it a pulse-pounding, thrilling experience.
Take a look at the “Good Morning Vail” interview here.
Roth says he’s planning on collaborating with writer/environmentalist Terry Tempest Williams and Jackson artist Felicia Resor. The environmentally inspired work will involve installing a ring of 23 Pronghorn and Deer skulls on old metal fence posts. They skulls are “….witnesses to the environmental degradation occurring in Wyoming,” says Roth. Installation locations have yet to be determined.
Want to talk to Ben? Call him with questions and kudos at this number: 970.754.8888