Basalt artist to memorialize Tom Blake |

Basalt artist to memorialize Tom Blake

Snowmass Sun Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” Basalt artist Gail Fredell has been selected to create a public art piece in memory of late Snowmass Village resident Tom Blake.

Fredell was chosen over four other artists who submitted work to a jury of public art professionals,. Acclaimed sculptor Carl Reed, a professor at Colorado College, and Liesel Fenner, who is involved with the Americans for the Arts in Washington D.C., reviewed the submissions and selected Fredell’s project.

“I’m thrilled to be creating a piece to commemorate a great Snowmass resident. Using public art as a way to recognize one’s contributions to a community are a wonderful honor,” Fredell said. Her piece will be installed in this fall on Snowmass Village’s Public Art Walk near the Snowmass Chapel, in Yarrow Park.

Fredell has been a valley artist since 1994, starting as the furniture and woodturning programs director at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Village. She now owns Flying Hammer Studio in Basalt, where she creates furniture for private residences, public spaces, galleries and museum exhibitions.

Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum, Leo Kaplan Modern, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum, American Craft Museum and others.

Funding for the Blake memorial comes from donations made in the former Town Councilman’s memory, according to his widow, Mary Beth. “This is a celebration of a community and a reflection on our community,” she said.

Blake was known as a renaissance man who loved outdoor sports ” especially skiing, sailing and mountain biking. He was also a trails advocate whose efforts were memorialized with the Tom Blake Trail, a popular mountain biking route within the network of trails at Snowmass. He served as a Pitkin County commissioner from 1980-88 and on the Snowmass Village Town Council from 1990-94.

There will be a community reception to celebrate the installation of Fredell’s piece.