What should a large, international city at the foot of the Rockies do when the SnowSports Industries America (SIA)
finally gets its act together and moves its annual trade show from Vegas to the heart of downtown? Use the draw of the event, which attracts more than 20,000 of the top minds in the snowsports industry, to launch a two-week long placemaking effort and collaboration between restaurants, businesses, entrepreneurs and artists.
Art of Winter
, an art and designed-based event showcasing winter sports creatives, officially launched in 2011 when SIA agreed to hold its annual trade show in Denver for the next 10 years. Originally a collaboration between Something Independent
and Larimer Square
, Art of Winter supporters now include graphic artists, designers, the Denver Theater District
and local businesses.
“We’re expanding this to make downtown a corridor, a hub, for culture, conversation and innovation,” says Chuck Sullivan of Something Independent.
As part of the event, repurposed skis and snowboards as original artwork will be displayed outdoors and in local businesses, including several local breweries such as Denver Beer Co
. Life-sized gondolas will hang in the Colorado Convention Center
This year, Art of Winter is expanding beyond the visual to include several panel discussions related to the winter sports industry as well as a fashion show. Eight restaurants are participating in the Art of Winter Cocktail trail and the Art Institute of Colorado
(AiC) and the AIGA
are sponsoring the second annual snowboard design competition.
“We’re really looking at Art of Winter as the annual platform of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and culture,” Sullivan says.
Exhibits will be on display throughout the Denver Theatre District and Larimer Square through Feb. 10.
In a melding of the craft brew and snowsports industries, Denver Beer Co. Founders Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford and Grace Skis
Founder David Liechty devised a plan to make a pair of skis with beer as an ingredient. This is what they came up with: