Deck the Walls

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For 2013 a new project began on the lot next to the tram. Yet to be named, this residential and commercial building is scheduled to open Winter 2015. (the resorts 50th year). So as the construction fences were erected the opportunity for public art became apparent. With a round of meetings between the owners, architects, construction management (ZCMI), Teton Village leaders and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, we got the thumbs up to hire local artist Ben Roth (a popular Jackson Hole Artist known for many local and Rocky Mountain installations) to turn a 100 foot long by 8 feet high, green pedestrian walkway into a fun, thoughtful, visually pleasing piece (all within a week). He delivered on every level. We hope visitors enjoy the piece all winter long.  Here is how Ben describes this short time line project coming to life.

Full Moon Aspens – The mural needed to happen quickly and in cold conditions. My collaborator, Mike Parris, and I got lucky on the first day of work with above 30 degree temperatures. We got the entire 130 ft. wall painted black and then went off site to figure out the composition of the forest and the best technique for painting the trees. We set up several sample boards and experimented with varying width paint rollers and different degrees of opacity. I also spent time with a fine brush and India ink determining the shapes of trunks and numbers of knots and eyes.

The second day on site we just drew the 91 trees with big pieces of chalk taped to painting poles. It was an enjoyable and meditative process. I felt like I was training with Mr. Miyagi, “Chalk line up. Chalk line down.” The weather was deteriorating and we had a feeling we were going to have to build a shelter to paint the trees. Once that was in place we wouldn’t be able to step back from the piece to consider the composition. After the trees were drawn, however, we would just have to fill in the lines.

Day three began with fort building. Mike’s five years of Architecture school came in handy. He designed us a sweet half tunnel using ten 20 foot flexible PVC pipes, a hundred feet of plastic and some zip-ties. We anchored one end of the pvc in the snow on the roof of the walkway, flexed it and then stuck the other end in the ground. The plastic will be re-used next summer on a greenhouse and the PVC will carry the irrigation. Our shelter covered half the wall so we got about 60 feet painted.

The last day we recruited some friends to help move the shelter and then we fired off the rest of the trees. We both enjoyed listening to the quotes of passers-by and their enthusiasm toward the finished work. There’s a lot of good stoke out at Teton Village. We ended the day singing songs in the Boom Boom Room. So Fun! – Ben Roth

See more of Ben’s work by visiting

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