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The Logans in front of the Lawrence Weiner installation they donated in 2018.
Art in Public Places / Courtesy Photo

The City of Vail has just received a generous donation for its public art collection. Kent and Vicki Logan, two longtime residents and prominent art collectors, are donating three outdoor sculptures from their personal collection to the city, which will be installed in locations around the Village of Vail in 2022.

The Logan Legacy

The Logans have a deep personal connection to the town of Vail that began when they set foot in the valley in the 1970s. They married on the mountain in 1985 and moved to the valley full-time to take their retirement in 1999.

Kent Logan, a retired investment banker, served on the Vail City Council from 2003 to 2007 and is currently a member of the Eagle Valley Behavioral Health Board of Directors. The couple have also been instrumental in supporting many local organizationsespecially those that increase accessibility and enrich ski programs at Vail, such as the EpicPromise Foundation and Logan Academy scholarship programs for ski instructors.

In addition to their philanthropy, the Logans are also renowned for their extensive collection of contemporary art, some of which they once exhibited in a private gallery. which they built near their home in Vail. Totaling nearly 1,500 pieces at its peak, it is considered one of the finest private collections in the United States.

Now in their 60s and having moved into a residence in Edwards, the couple are beginning to donate their coveted works of art to various museums and collections to share the love and legacy of contemporary art with the world.

“We’re more in the final chapters of our art collection, so to speak, which is generally about giving back and making a difference,” Kent Logan said. “It has always been important. It’s easy to write a check – anyone will accept a check – but what difference does it really make? »

The Logans made their first donation to the City of Vail’s Public Art Collection in 2018, installing Lawrence Weiner’s textual work, “As far as the depth of the valley at any given time,” at the western exterior of the Vail Valley. parking structure.

“It was about the infinite nature of Vail,” Logan said. “Vail Valley will be here in a thousand years, and it was here a thousand years before us, and we’re just passing through. It became the symbol of the passages of life, so I thought it was the perfect place for it.

The Logans are now identifying additional works that they believe will be a significant addition to Vail’s public art collection, in what they envision to be a phased gift.

This first donation of three outdoor sculptures — which were officially accepted by the city last month — is the start of a larger vision for Vail’s art collection moving forward.

“These three pieces are the avant-garde,” Logan said. “I have a number of outdoor sculptures that I would love to find space for, and I think that can make a difference in Vail. It really brings an artistic dimension to what is a very sophisticated and international destination and resort.

Middlebrook, Mabry and Kahlhamer

The Logans hand-selected each of the three pieces, which were then approved by the five-member board of the city’s Art in Public Places program.

Susanne Graff is a board member and voted to accept the donation for the city.

“The Logans were incredibly thoughtful and intentional about the pieces they came up with,” Graff said. “Just because we’re in the mountains doesn’t mean every piece has to be mountain-related. That, to me, is boring. We want to broaden this contemporary artistic dialogue and open it up to these very rich conversations.

“We all build nests”

The first piece is a sculpture by Jason Middlebrook titled “We All Build Nests”. The piece stands approximately 15 feet tall and consists of a group of elaborate birdhouses, each designed after a different iconic architectural structure, such as the Alamo, the Egyptian pyramids and the Transamerica skyscraper in San Francisco, to n to name a few.

“We All Build Nests” by Jason Middlebrook
Art in Public Places / Courtesy Photo

Middlebrook said the concept for the piece was directly inspired by his time in Vail with the Logans.

“Whether we were golfing, hiking, or just sitting on the patio, the birds were always with us,” Middlebrook said. “My goal was to design dwellings for birds and a sculpture that humans could relate to throughout their past travels.”

Each of the birdhouses is carefully crafted to fit the specifications of local bird species, and the carving is structured to mimic the shape of an Aspen tree.

Logan said Middlebrook’s piece was a natural choice to donate to the town, as it was inspired and designed for the Valley environment.

“We all build nests, we all build a home somewhere,” Logan said. “Obviously we can change it – you can fly to another place, you’re free to roam – so it’s about freedom, it’s about the importance of home, but in the context of something that’s very relevant to the West and to his experience in Vail.

“Two Ships (Unpacked)”

The second is a bronze sculpture by Nathan Mabry entitled “Two Vessels (Unpacked)”. Hailing from Durango, Mabry’s sculptural figures draw from a variety of historical sources of art, ranging from ancient civilization to popular culture.

“I’ve always been fascinated by anthropology and archeology – the ritual associations within objects old and new – all they represent about human culture and human effort, and how it affects the past , the present and the future,” writes Mabry.

The figure of “Two Vessels” comes from those used in the fertility rites of Jalisco, placed on top of a minimalist box. The positioning of the figure instantly evokes connections to Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, but the totem-like sculptural style and intense facial expression make it difficult for the viewer to identify the intended effect.

This challenge is precisely the experience that Logan hopes the sculpture will elicit in Vail passers-by.

“Two Ships (Unpacked)” by Nathan Mabry
Courtesy picture

“It defies the senses,” Logan said. “I like a lot of different decorative arts, but they don’t make you think. You can have a great sculpture of a bear or a mountain, and you can admire the technique and the representation, but all of a sudden someone bumps into this Mabry piece, and they say, “What is that all that?”.

Graff agrees that getting viewers to engage more deeply with public art and ask questions is part of the goal of incorporating these new sculptures.

“Being able to present these works of art to the public, you don’t really know what effects that might have, or what conversations that might spark,” Graff said. “Some people will hate certain pieces, some people will love them, and that’s the richness of a work of art. It really sparks conversations, dialogues, emotions, and you can keep coming back to those tracks and each time you’re going to find something new and different.

“Waqui Totem USA (Urban Class Mark V)”

The third and final sculpture is a bronze totem by Brad Kahlhamer. Kahlhamer is of Native American descent, but was adopted by German-American parents, and he uses art as an exploration of what he calls the “third place” – the meeting point of two opposing personal histories.

Logan is a leading patron of contemporary Native American art, and over the past five years has helped the Denver Art Museum grow its collection of these works.

“Brad is one of the first artists in this vein to appear in my collection,” Logan said. “We’re personal friends, we’ve got a long way back, and I said, ‘why don’t you do a contemporary totem?’ This is the challenge that I launched. »

“Waqui Totem USA (Urban Class Mark V)” by Brad Kahlhamer

The resulting sculpture, titled “Waqui Totem USA (Urban Class Mark V)”, stands just over 10 feet tall and was originally constructed from cardboard. Now recast in bronze, Logan feels he represents the history of the West and will add another layer of awareness to the path that has brought us here.

“To me, it represents that part of history — the good parts and the bad parts — that were really hidden in American history as we studied it in schools,” Logan said. “It was truly genocide. It makes you think, and intellectually that’s what engages me. I watch it, and my mind will go in different directions.

Elevate Vail’s Public Art Collection

The Art in Public Places Board still determines where each work will be installed, but Graff said he intends to place them all in Vail Village. The installations will probably be finished next summer.

“They leave a legacy, but they also give it to all the local kids here, who may or may not be exposed to a bigger art world,” Graff said. “There’s this surface of this generous giving of art as a commodity, but it’s really about this deeper generosity of experience. Who knows, a child might see the Mabry, and it could really change the trajectory of their life. It can open their eyes to a whole different way of creating art, interpreting art, or being moved by art.

The Logans also expressed their intention to continue donating pieces to the city, while working to improve other local arts initiatives, such as an artist residency program or the restoration of the “art shack” building of Ford Park into a community art space.

“I don’t want this to be a one-time event, but to be part of the beginning of a larger strategic plan,” Logan said. “It’s a step. If it’s about raising awareness and developing a step-by-step strategic plan, it creates something far greater over a ten-year period than simply placing three sculptures in downtown Vail.

There’s a lot to look forward to in the development of Vail’s art scene, but these three sculptures alone are helping to elevate public art in the valley.

“Logans’ gift really elevated the conversation and elevated Vail into this global contemporary dialogue, which is so awesome,” Graff said. “I mean, we’re a world-class ski resort, and now we can say we have a world-class outdoor museum too. How cool is that?”

For more information on Art in Public Places and the City of Vail Public Art Collection, visit

If you have questions or comments about the new acquisitions, contact