The big design at the Leadville Airport on Monday, Jan. 20 was a HUGE SUCCESS – and able to be completed that day! – thanks to good planning by Snow Artist Simon Beck and nearly 20 Shaders who showed up to be a part of one of Beck’s biggest drawings.
“We heard he was coming to Leadville and drove over from Rifle, Colo.,” said one shader who took her turn stomping out snow at North America’s Highest Airport. Other shaders included the Horning family of Leadville as well as a number of visitors who joined in the fun after hearing about the opportunity.
Monday’s drawing which linked together three nearly 100-foot circumference circles, all containing shading lines and intricately stomped out snowflakes around the edges, covered a large portion of the 6,634 foot runway which is closed due to the runway rehabilitation work not being completed by the time the snow came in for winter. As a result, the large area has remained unplowed and allowed Beck to have a canvas of near-perfect conditions, safely encased in security and wildlife fencing.
“Once we got started, it was hard to stop,” shared one shader. Although nearly all of the helpers made mention of the challenges of breaking trail in the areas of deep snow – more than a foot in some places – a challenge at 10,000 feet in elevation! The Snow Artist was on point offering instruction to the volunteers and at one point more than a dozen snowshoers were lost in their own maze of the snow drawing! More photos and drone video to come.
Looking ahead, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, students in the Lake County School District will get to visit with Snow Artist Simon Beck, hear the story about how his snow drawings began and have an opportunity to participate in one of Simon’s creations. It’s an afternoon program, that will likely continue at the LCHS football field once the kids are out of school, so stop by, drive-by, or come and be a #SnowArt shader! Dress warm and bring some water! Everyone is welcome!
Then this coming weekend, Jan. 25 & 26 Beck will complete a snow drawing in Twin Lakes. It’s sure to be a “Twinter” weekend of fun, so plan to join the Snow Art fun and invite your friends. This is a great time of year to support friends and businesses in southern Lake County.
The design has been mapped out, the shaders are signed up (there’s still time!) and Simon Beck has been out on the snow drawing since dawn’s early light. It’s MLK Day in Leadville Today and if you’ve got the day off and looking for something inspiring to do, then join Leadville Today as the international renown Snow Artist create what could be one of his biggest drawings to date.
The action is happening up at the Leadville Airport with most of the shaders and crowds planned fro between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Come, check it out, take some photos and celebrate winter’s beauty with some snow art!
Saturday’s weather settled down a bit after fierce winds and fresh snow threatened to erase all of Friday’s efforts (see below). But Snow Artist Simon Beck remained fully committed to the drawing and after spending time Saturday afternoon re-establishing the drawing, the aerial drone shots finally revealed his one-of-a-kind creation! Wow! This bird’s eye view paints a completely different picture than the one you see at the park from street view. The snow in this field was also pretty deep, over a foot in many areas, so the work was challenging. Today (Sunday) we’re up at the airport measuring and mapping for tomorrow’s BIG design! We are still taking names for shaders and media interested in taking photos and drone video (see below). Things are shaping up nicely!
Yesterday, January 17, one-of-a-kind Snow Artist Simon Beck made a good run at his first Leadville snow drawing, working for 5 hours through relatively adverse weather conditions. In the end, Mother Nature took back most of his first attempt. The late morning conditions which started out with gentle snow squalls moving through in a band rotation, doubled back with a vengeance by early afternoon as Beck, along with portions of his Snow Art disappeared into a fierce blizzard at times!
Beck’s first attempt was a Koch snowflake design. Named after Swedish mathematician Helge von Koch, this particular snowflake is considered one of the earliest fractal curves to have been described. In the simplest terms, the pattern involves a series of equilateral triangles, which when stitched together in the snow, create a crystallized creation as unique as the ones falling from the sky.
Once Beck has the initial design in place, Snow Art Shaders are invited to assist with the deepening and shadowing of the design by snowshoeing or stomping along the original lines. While Friday’s event drew a few curious onlookers, the blustery conditions kept most peering through the truck windows as they circled through the parking lot. Eventually, Beck was joined by one helper – thanks to Snow Art Shader Dave Horning for enduring his first stomping experience in pretty adverse conditions.
We’ll be back at the Lake County Community Park at 3 p.m. in Leadville Today (Saturday, Jan. 18) to re-establish yesterday’s attempt and take some drone shots. Join us at the park at W. 6th and McWethy with blue skies and sunshine in the forecast, conditions and results should be much better!
Simon has arrived! After months of planning, International Snow Artist Simon Beck arrived in Leadville on January 16 and immediately got to work checking out the snow conditions at locations already identified by the Snow Art Team. The man who makes gigantic and geometrically intricate drawings in the snow with a simple pair of snowshoes and a guide pole will be in the Leadville and Twin Lakes area creating his drawings – with help from the public and school children – from January 16- 26.
“What I really want to achieve is get as much art produced as possible, always bigger, always more complex, in more fantastic sites.” – from the Simon Beck: Snow Art book, with permission.
The call-to-action response for Snow Art Shaders has been very enthusiastic! Thank You! As of today, 16 people from as far away as the Front Range have emailed to express their interest in participating in the project as a shader. So here’s what you need to know. And please understand at some point access to the artwork will be somewhat limited during the creation, so shaders will be afforded a very special one-of-a-kind experience!
Thanks for your interest in being a snow art shader. Right now the shader schedule allows for four days.
Simon says that after a 10-minute training session if you can stand up on snowshoes, you’re an official Snow Art Shader! There are also a limited number of snowshoes available for shaders. Depending on snowshoe ability and stamina, please let us know how long you could be a shader and on which days and time. For example, I can be a shader on Monday, Jan. 20 for 2 hours, from 10 a.m. – noon. The plan is to space people out to assist throughout the process, which could take up to two 11-hour days! As expected, schedules change according to snow conditions, etc. but it should be a very unique experience. Simon is incredible! Thanks for supporting the project!
Thursday, Jan. 16
Friday, Jan. 17
Saturday, Jan. 18
Sunday, Jan. 19
Monday, Jan. 20
Tuesday, Jan. 21
Wednesday, Jan 22
Thursday, Jan. 23
Friday, Jan. 24
Saturday & Sunday, Jan. 25 & 26
On Monday, Jan. 20 – which is also the Martin Luther King holiday – and January 21 the Leadville/Lake County Airport runway will be transformed into a giant canvas for Snow Artist Simon Beck, along with a team of volunteer shaders to create possibly one of the biggest snow drawings yet! It’s also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as this will be the only year that the area will be closed to traffic. Due to a contractor’s failure to meet construction deadlines on the airport runway rehabilitation job this past summer, the airstrip is currently closed to air traffic and is not being plowed. So it’s making lemonade out of lemons with over 25,000 square meters to ice it all down with!
Last week the Snow Art Team went on several recon missions to assess snow conditions, ease of access and other variables that contribute to the planning of Beck’s Snow Art. There is a sweet spot at the southern end of the runway that is not only wind-protected but provides just the type of backdrop Beck looks for with his snow drawings: dramatic scenery. This time it just happens to be the two tallest peaks in Colorado: Mt Elbert and Massive!
The entire airport by destination has a secured perimeter, allowing snow conditions to remain track-free from man or beast. So if Mother Nature shows up on her end with a bit more fresh snow and the lower temperatures which usually hover throughout this time in January, the conditions could align for one of Beck’s most fascinating snow drawings! The area being considered also has an elevated overlook from a former helipad which will eventually be torn down with the finished runway project, but for now, it will make a great photography and drone operations area. The plan is also to let the public also access the area for viewing.
From Jan. 24-26 the Snow Art project moves to southern Lake County and the quaint village of Twin Lakes. Beck will be welcomed with open arms by the fans and Friends of Twin Lakes and is being graciously hosted at The Twin Lakes Inn. While this small mountain community is usually quiet this time of year with the seasonal Independence Pass not open until spring, this year the area is promoting its winter months.
There are several snowfields under consideration in the Twin Lakes area and updates will be recorded on this page as they become finalized. Beck will be assessing conditions in the area during his first two days here, this Thursday and Friday. In addition, plans are currently underway – now that the dates are finalized – to provide a Meet the Artist and Q & A session in Twin Lakes.
On Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25 & 26 Snow Art Shaders will also be needed. There is already a running list and access to the artwork creation will be somewhat limited during its production, so shaders will have a one-of-a-kind experience! If you’re interested, please email availability and number in your group to firstname.lastname@example.org. Leadville Today would also like to hear from any Twin Lakes residents that have a web camera that overlooks the lakes and would be interested in collaborating with the project.
If you are a photographer/videographer/drone pilot, film company or media outlet interested in covering Simon Beck’s visit, please email email@example.com. Beck’s end mission in creating his snow drawings is to have them recorded to be able to share with the rest of the world.