ARTWORK > The Forest Spiral

Forest Spiral
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The Forest Spiral (formerly known as Written in the Trees) is an open-air meditation temple made from glass suspended in the forest at Beyul Retreat. As a contemplative art environment, it is designed for peace, wonder and renewal.

The Forest Spiral is sited in a natural spiral of lodgepole pines. Reaching 125’ in length and 16’ at its highest point, the art installation creates a 540-square-foot glass enclosure for meditation, ceremony and ritual. Accompanying the piece are a dozen wooden meditation stools and, in the near future, a center altar table. Created in collaboration with Beyul Retreat, the Forest Spiral represents our shared belief in the restorative power of art and nature.

I forage for old trash in abandoned dumping grounds from the mining era, before there were modern landfills. My finds are the hard bits that have endured for more than 100 years: metal, pottery and bottles, which I call “mountain glass.” It’s like sea glass, but tumbled by gravity and dirt, instead of waves and water. I use these materials as the basis for my sculptures and installations, which I hope will provoke conversations about what it means to throw something "away" and to make something that lasts, particularly out of discards.

The Forest Spiral is located at Beyul, a 32-acre retreat center in Meredith, Colorado, that offers programs to reconnect with nature, community, and self. Sited along the public 10th Mountain Trail, which transects Beyul land, the Forest Spiral provides access to art and space for contemplation for residents and visitors of the Upper Frying Pan River Valley. Its unique location along a public trail easement ensures that the forest temple will remain free and open to the community.

The goal of the project is to create a listening room in the woods: a space to attune to one’s innermost thoughts and to the forest. I hope to honor the forest, which lies on Ute Indian ancestral homeland, and inspire visitors to protect it. As a space for healing and contemplation, the concept of "doing no harm" — to the trees, wildlife and habitat — has been at the heart of design decisions. As part of my process, I consulted Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Pitkin County, and a local biologist and wildlife expert, as well as arborist best practices. The first step was to remove old barbed wire (from previous owners) that was girdling some of the trees, making room for new growth and a reciprocal relationship with the forest. Through ceremonies and rituals on site, I hope to continue to build energy at The Forest Spiral, which I think of as the invisible — and essential — architecture of the piece.

I would like to extend my whole heart to everyone who showed up for the Forest Spiral. More than 150 helpers collaborated to bring the project to life, donating money, time and/or expertise. Seeing all the names on this list makes me immensely happy. My goodness, what an affirmation of community.

Abby Stern
Agustina Mistretta
Ajax Phillips
Alexis Kafkis
Allison Pattillo
Alya Howe
Amiee White Beazley
Amy Kimberley
Amy Maron
Ana Katz
Andi Korber
Andre + Julie Wille
Andrea Schwartz
Anna Hazard
Anne Genova
Anne White
Annette Roberts-Gray
Ariana Joy
Ashlee Bella
Ashley Meyers
Audrey Richard
Ben Belinski
Ben Cooper
Ben Hambright
Bettina Slusar
Blake Lockard
Bo Buck
Brad Gilbert
Brandon Kaufer
Brooks Barron
Bryan Long
Cara Maiolo
Carly Anne
Cathy Miller
Charlotte Roennau
Chris Menges
Christian Butler
Christy Sauer Mahon
Claire Wright
Dana Higbie
Dave Durrance
Deborah Jones
Diane Moore
DJ John Felix
Dri Liechti
Eden Vardy
Elizabeth Demarest
Erica Haller
Erica Murray
Erin Becker
Erin Rigney
Ethan Thompson
Gabrielle Rafelson
Georgina Rumsey Levey
Gina Murdock
Heidi Flores-Walmsley
Helen Tieber
Jacob Thomas
James Gorman
Jamie Abbott
Jamie Hammon
Janie Rich
Jeannette Darnauer
Jen Norlin
Joe McGuire
Johier Begay
Julie Comins
Julie Levin
Karla Hope Miller
Katalin Zomoszlay
Kathryn Block
Kathy Honea
Kelley Brenninger
Kevin Newland
Kimberly Schlosser
Kris Brown
Kristi Bowden
Landen Saks
Laura Sura
Leah Song
Lesley Gorman
Lindsay Jones
Lisa Houston
Lisa Thorpe
Lissa Ballinger
Lynne Baer
Madelyn Soldner Sullivan
Marc Whitley
Meagan Adams
Megan Rainnie
Melanie Muss
Michael Miracle
Michael Stout
Mona Newton
Nancy Lovendahl
Nicholas Adamski
Nicholas Croft
Nori Pao
Pam Unger
Paul Woznicki
Paulina Ree
Reenie Kinney
Reuben Sadowsky
Richard Bruehl
Rose Abello
Ross Kribbs
Ruth + John Ward
Ryan Young
Sammy Steen
Sannon Bethell
Sara Ransford
Sarah Uhl
Sarah Wheeler
Savanna LaBauve
Shannon Confair
Shannon Day + Aspen High ExEd students
Shawn Miller
Shayne Maratea
Shelley Supplee
Shereen Sarick
Skye Skinner
Skye Weinglass
Sophie Schlumberger
Stacey Tompkins
Stephanie Janigo
Stephanie Soldner
Susan Brady + the Motley Crew
Susan Marolt
Teresa Booth Brown
Thatcher Wine
Tom Brown
Tomas Zuccareno
Trace Nichols
Wallace Graham

Aspen Art Museum
Beyul Retreat
Carbondale Arts
Project 18 Inc.
Red Brick Center for the Arts
Rising Appalachia
Skye Gallery
SWIFT (Rifle Correctional Center State Wildland Inmate Fire Team)
The Art Base
The Creative Fund by BackerKit