Aspens Unique Approach to combining Skiing and Art

Aspen Art

Artwork by Murakami

Aspen is known by many to be one of the top ski resorts in the world. Including four resorts (Snowmass, Aspen Mountain (formally Ajax), Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk Mountain, skiers and riders have access to some of the best skiing in the world. As well, the town of Aspen gives you access to a large amount of fine dining, nightlife, and shopping. But, one often overlooked aspect of Aspen is how well it merges art with skiing.

In 2005, the Aspen Art Museum and the Aspen Skiing Company got together with the goal of bringing contemporary art to audiences in new and innovative ways and expose the art to people who would not likely be engaged in art and continuing the foster the experience of Aspen to the “mind, body, and spirit”. This collaboration, led to numerous projects and this has led to the Aspen Skiing Company being recognized as a National Arts Award recipient for "Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America".

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Artwork by Peter Doig, Karen Kilimnik, and Yutuka Sone

One of those unique projects has been the use of artwork on lift tickets. The idea for adding art to lift tickets first came to AAM Director and Chief Curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson when she first arrived in Aspen. She noticed the plain white paper lift tickets dangling off ski jackets all around town. She saw an opportunity to present art in a new way and brought the idea to the Aspen Skiing Company.

Jacobson’s approach is to invite contemporary artists to participate directly in the cultural life of the area by creating original works of art for display on the lift tickets. Since then, skiers and snowboarders on Aspen’s four mountains have been wearing ski passes displaying this wearable art. The program has produced ski passes with artworks by numerous renowned artists such as Yutaka Sone, Peter Doig, Karen Kilimnik, Jim Hodges, Carla Klein, Mamma Andersson, and Mark Grotjahn.

For the 2016-2017 season, Laura Owens has created 11 unique, standalone images. Laura is recognized for her distinctive abstract and almost historical style. In this series, she uses a flat stylistic characteristic of Pop Art.

Aspen Art 5

Artwork by Laura Owens

Art in Unexpected Places by Aspen Snowmass

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