Vail, Colo. – Commissioned for the Vail Village Welcome Center by the Art in Public Places program, a new site-specific work by wood sculptor Paul Vexler is suspended from a vaulted ceiling above the central information desk. Though the work is inspired by swirling water, it was created primarily in Douglas fir.

This unique marriage of symbol and material was borne from a need for optimism. As Vexler explains:

I started thinking about eddies after reading a book called Entropy. The idea of entropy comes from a principle of thermodynamics dealing with energy. It usually refers to the idea that everything in the universe eventually moves from order to disorder, and entropy is the measurement of that change. In some ways it is a bit depressing to think that everything that physically happens is part of a very slow march towards heat death. However, after discussing the book with a friend, he encouraged me to think about humanity, civilization and creativity as an eddy in this cosmic flow, where quite the opposite is happening.


About 18 months ago we paddled through the Grand Canyon on a rafting trip. It was one of the best vacations I have had. One of the highlights was the way the guides used the eddies to navigate the river. It was almost magical to be moving up stream when the rest of the entire river was going down. It is a good thought for maintaining one’s optimism.

Red Eddy was selected from over 40 proposals submitted by artists throughout the U.S.