Help Bring Snowshoe Artist to Leadville
Support Snowshoe Artist Simon Beck in Lake County
Simon Beck to Create Snow Drawings
Simon Beck’s snow drawings have been created in massive snowfields around the world. And now, those one-of-a-kind pieces of art could be coming to Leadville. Here’s how you can help make it happen. Many readers may have seen the recent news reports of the Snowshoe Artist’s drawings in Silverthorne over in Summit County. After he wraps up that gig, Leadville Today (LT) is hoping to bring Beck to Lake County to create one of his biggest pieces of snow art to date.
“I was able to meet with Simon yesterday after weeks of talking about the possibility of bringing his work to Leadville,” stated LT Publisher Kathy Bedell. “Now we have a clearer idea of the small details involved, so the next step is to see if the local community will support the project. If so, Beck has committed to creating one of his biggest drawings here in Lake County, beginning on January 20.”
A Good Reason to Throw Some Shade
In order for the full impact of the drawings to be realized, the shading is critical. According to Beck, shader training takes about ten minutes and the qualifications are pretty simple: anyone who can stand up on a pair of snowshoes. And the more helpers, then better as some of Beck’s biggest drawings have taken two days, with a full 11 hours of stomping.
“The first stage in making all of these drawings is a question of careful measuring by getting compass bearings and pace jumping. That has to be done by myself, working alone,” explained Beck. But once the initial outline and edges have been laid out, the real fun begins. So why not become part of a huge snow art event?!
“I’m glad to hear that there could be people who want to join in because both sides will benefit,” said Beck. “It’s always hard to predict how much help you’re going to get with these drawings. We often find that people show up quite keen, but then they often tire within the first hour.” And while there’s probably more than a few ultra-endurance athletes ready to take on that kind of challenge, the majority of the shading usually takes place in shorter shifts from small groups, each taking their turn.
Of course, there are a number of variables that contribute to a superb drawing, and snow conditions are key. Beck’s recent weather conditions and location site in Silverthorne have not been optimal. In fact, the second day of his big drawing was canceled on Sunday due to fierce winds that had already taken back the initial work done on Lake Dillon on Saturday. While Mother Nature can be a bit unpredictable, finding big enough locations that provide more wind shield and deeper snow levels are helpful. Over the past several weeks, LT’s Snow Art Team has been scouting locations and two BIG spaces have already been identified.
The biggest drawing Beck has ever completed was the size of 10 soccer fields. It was in 2004 at Les Arcs a ski resort in France which engaged his work on a huge flat field prior to the season opener. And believe it or not an even bigger space has identified as a possible snow art location. In fact, it’s measured in at 19,693 square meters and this year this location’s particular circumstances will likely NEVER happen again, leaving it an untouched canvas for possibly Beck’s largest drawing to date. More on the location reveals to come, but first, will Leadville and Mother Nature show up?
Challenges: Peaks and Valleys
With any project, there are challenges. Foremost for this one is the snow conditions, which change every day. It’s just part of the gamble for doing business at 10,200 feet! For Beck, perfect snow drawing conditions would be 6 inches of fresh, light and fluffy snow on a hard surface (like ice) in an area completely shielded by the wind. Naturally, he likes the idea of having Colorado’s highest peak, Mt. Elbert in the shot as well. The two other challenges are finding people willing to participate in the public art project as “shaders” for the snow drawings (see above), and the cash to cover artist fees and other costs associated with the project.
Snow Me The Money
The other challenge is money, specifically the artist fee and other costs associated with the project. The Snow Artist Team has already secured lodging (Thanks to Grand West Village Resorts and Twin Lakes Inn) and transportation, as well as a few meals for the international snow-man, but there’s still a $4,000 price tag attached to the project. Some folks have already said they would contribute whatever dollar amount their budgets can afford, from $5 to fifty bucks. Every dollar will help offset LT’s upfront costs in bringing Beck to Lake County. A contribute button through PayPal has been established for those who wish to contribute financially.
The Plan: Beck’s Proposed Schedule
As of today, the agreement with Beck is that if the support is in place by this Friday, Jan. 10, everyone is prepared to move forward with the following schedule:
- January 16 & 17 – Beck arrives in Leadville and scouts the locations identified by the Snow Art Team.
- January 18 & 19 – The snow art designs will be measured and plotted by compass on the site field(s)
- January 20 & 21 – The snow art is created! Keep in mind that Jan. 20 is Martin Luther King Day, so a holiday for many and no school for kids who may want to participate.
There will also be educational opportunities during Beck’s visit. It’s a part of the work he enjoys, sharing his passion for snow with others. Additionally, LT sees the event as an opportunity to promote other upcoming winter events from the snowshoe championships to the ice fishing derby at Twin Lakes to Leadville Ski Joring.
In the end, if it all comes together Leadville could make snow art history! And who knows, maybe it could be part of Leadville’s January calendar when there’s not too much going on but a lot coming up. Yes, there are risks involved from the weather to snow conditions to community support, but the opportunity is there, so reach out by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on any of our social platforms linked to this page.
“What I really want to achieve is get as much art produced as possible, always bigger, always more complex, in more fantastic sites,” he concludes in his 2014 book: Simon Beck: Snow Art.
The Snow Art Team has brought that Leadville possibility this far, now we have to see how much snow art love there is! The deadline for commitment is this Friday, Jan. 10. You in?