Sheltering Aspen

Submitted by Koryn Rolstad

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Client: Park City Municipal Corporation Public Art Advisory Board

Location: Park City, UT, United States

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $65,000

Project Team

Artist

Koryn Rolstad

Koryn Rolstad Studios

Other

Park City, UT

Overview

Project was designed to emulate the unique groves of Aspen Trees throughout the natural environment in the Park City areas and various ski resorts. Set in an existing public plaza at the newly remodeled City Hall which used to be one of the oldest schools houses in the region. Using the existing concrete planter boxes, this 80 tree groupings were engineered to set inside the concrete housings with new soils, stones and regional ground cover used. Aluminum clear-coated structural posts and powder coated base posts hold up to 1000 PETG eco resin ellipses.

Goals

I resolved the challenge of combining environmental context along with visual interest in a safe manner to withstand inclement weather, for an exterior Plaza at the Park City, UT – City Hall. The “Sheltering Aspen” project was designed to bring a connection to the unique aspen groves found in this area of the US mountain regions. The tall slender trunks hold bright yellow changing leaves at the very top of the clusters and are seen as an iconic element of the ski resorts and communities surrounding Park City. The project installation is highly engineered utilizing the existing concrete planter boxes, which i was encouraged to take out the existing plantings and soil, refurbished and engineer, pour a new platform at the base and seal for weatherproofing. We ‘planted’ 80 aluminum trees and base posts, strong enough to weather up to 100 mph winds, and populated with the 5 different toned elliptical leaf forms using 70% recycled PETG colored translucent resin - laser cutting over a 1000 leaves. The Shadowing on the walls and ground surround the visitor who can walk through the 7 groupings of trees while entering the City Hall.

Process

This is Park City’s first large public art project and took great vision to push the typical boundaries of sculpture. We needed the project to surround the pedestrian as they come into the plaza to visit the many services provided at City Hall. I kept the solution simple using all recycled materials (70%) – brushed aluminum and colored translucent eco-resin. The families tend, now, to leave their children in the plaza while attending to their business at the City Hall facilities. I wanted to change the view and idea of sculpture as a 'pedestal' solution by designing a project that covered as much area as possible, where the viewer can experience the shadowing colors and various combinations of the tree clusters while walking through the groupings of 'tree stands'. the project can be seen from the streets below and from the nearby quaint mountain style housing. The project was Park City's first public art installation which honored my own vision of environment as a public visual language.

Additional Information

This project has been noted as a destination for many of the events in Park City including the Sundance Festival and has allowed the arts commission to continue commissioning other projects with more support from the community.