James Vilona featured artist at Dolce during Telluride Wine Fest

James Vilona featured artist at Dolce during Telluride Wine Fest

[click “Play”, James Vilona speaks about how he came to his art]

IMG_6131 Who’d a-thunk it? Telluride Inside… and Out and Donald Trump have something in common: we both own work by sculptor James Vilona. Only we don’t own as much as The Donald, a major collector. (Two of Vilona’s metal tables are on display in Trump Towers in New York and Chicago.)

James Vilona is in town over the Telluride Wine Festival weekend, June 24 – June 27, where he is the featured artist at Dolce Jewels, 226 West Colorado.

Vilona’s education and training as a sculptor began in college at C.U., where he also ski-raced. Post-graduation, in 1978, he went on to become a member of the National Ski Team, but an injury triggered a shift in focus: Vilona the skier became Vilona the stone cutter, specializing in diamonds first, then other gem stones. Although he never had formal training in fine art or sculpting, Vilona came to realize cutting gemstones is nothing more than sculpting with harsher angles.

Vilona grew up to become an artist for all reasons, capable of producing bravura small and large-scale work, decorative and functional. Lately Vilona is working mostly in stainless steel, a substance that, like the artist, embodies optimistic energy, unclouded by doubt or fear. Materials aside, with their smooth surfaces, and simple rhythmic cadences combined with hard geometry and organic shapes, all of Vilona’s work is at once edgy and lyrical.

Circle bench 02 An extremely fecund artist, Vilona’s current associations include participation in the Public Seating Project, ongoing airport installations and rotating art exhibits throughout America, Italy, France, and Asia. Ongoing global commissions are based on creating public works for city municipalities, international airports, city public parks, five-star hotel lobbies and formal gardens within Hong Kong, Paris, Milan, Bali, New York, Florida, and Colorado. Since his induction into the Mennello Museum of American Fine Art In Orlando, Florida, other major museums have approached Vilona about acquiring his work. (Stay tuned.) Private commissions abound: the demand is for installations for large-scale architectural projects as well as executive homes nationwide – including a dining table currently in the works for The Donald.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to Vilona’s interview.

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