Editor’s note:  This is the second in a series discussing public art at ECHO. This summer visitors along the Burlington Waterfront will wi...

Science Loves Art: Tyler Vendituoli

Editor’s note:  This is the second in a series discussing public art at ECHO. This summer visitors along the Burlington Waterfront will witness art in action, with engaging pieces created by artists, sculptors, and students all with a strong point of view.

Artist Tyler Vendituoli stands before an still-in-progress "Bait Ball" at Conant Metal and Light.
(Photos: Jessie Forand/ECHO)
Those driving on Pine Street in Burlington might have seen a structure being built at Conant Metal and Light. Called “Bait Ball,” this piece of public art from Tyler Vendituoli is now positioned front and center, greeting guests as they enter ECHO.

Created in just two weeks, the concept came from the materials. Vendituoli had a large ball frame and a wheel attached on the bottom.

The final product is simply incredible – metal fish, appearing to continuously move in a swarm. 

Cutouts and attachments create depth and a kind of positive and negative view.  The size of the sculpture draws in passersby.

Each fish is slightly different, but related, Vendituoli said.

His inspiration came from a National Geographic documentary about bait balls, the instances of fish sticking closely together to deter predators from trying to eat them.

ECHO's Steve Smith and artist Tyler Vendituoli examine the newly installed "Bait Ball" Wednesday.  
There is no doubt that Vendituoli falls into the “maker” distinction. He makes things. A lot. You can find him working at Conant on a myriad of different pieces, and he finds the STEM/STEAM education concept interesting because he said he has always made things.

With a contractor father, Vendituoli has long had access to tools.

“Making things for more is always part of who I’ve been and what I do,” he explained.

Asked how he might encourage others to follow in his maker footsteps, Vendituoli said those interested should take different elements and make them into something new; alter an object to create something from it, and absorb information heard and seen in the world, applying it into created pieces.

Vendituoli hopes those walking along the waterfront and visiting ECHO alike will feel bemused engagement; it’s not heavy and maybe not thought-provoking, he said, but it is there for visual enjoyment, to make people smile.

Other pieces from Vendituoli can be seen around town – balloons at the Burlington International Airport, a jaguar on Lakeview Terrace, a posing form near the Winooski River, and of course at Conant Metal and Light.

Learn more at www.vendituoli.com/.

Fish cutouts featured on "Bait Ball." 

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