Justice Snow’s winter art benefit tonight | AspenTimes.com

Justice Snow’s winter art benefit tonight

Justice Snow's hopes to use its windows to highlight important causes, like the climate change advocacy group, Protect Our Winters. The restaurant and bar is hosting an art benefit for Protect Our Winters tonight.

Justice Snow's owner Michele Kiley said she wants to use the restaurant and bar's "big, sexy" windows to draw attention to local nonprofits and make a difference.

The intent for Justice Snow's is to serve not as merely a bar or an eatery but as a community asset, Kiley said.

"We occupy the absolute heart of Aspen, on very a prominent corner in a very prominent building in town," Kiley said. "And we want to allow this location to raise awareness."

Last year, Justice Snow's hosted an art event to benefit the Aspen Hope Center, a local nonprofit that works to decrease the stigma of mental illness.

Kiley chose the organization because it hit close to home, as she had recently lost her brother to suicide.

While the event raised more than $3,300 for the organization, it also highlighted another important cause — global climate change.

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As part of the event, Justice Snow's commissioned artist Thomas Barlow to design an ice sculpture installation that the restaurant intended to display for days after the event.

However, due to unseasonably warm temperatures, the ice sculptures were in puddles the next morning, Kiley said.

"To me, it was really a wake-up call that we need to focus our attention on (climate change)" Kiley said.

Consequently, Justice Snow's winter art and action this year — open to the public tonight at 10 p.m. — will benefit the climate advocacy nonprofit, Protect Our Winters.

Pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones started Protect Our Winters in 2007 after noticing more and more winter resorts closing due to lack of snow.

With the help of other professional athletes, resorts and winter-sports companies, Protect Our Winters is now the leading climate advocacy group in the snow sports community.

Since we can't all partake in the Paris climate talks, this is a chance to support climate action right here in Aspen, said Auden Schendler, Protect Our Winters board chair and Aspen Skiing Co. vice president of sustainability.

"Best of all, it will be a blast," Schendler said. "We'll have some professional athletes representing, and we'll explore the connection between art and climate change."

The event will unveil the multilayered, environmentally themed work of artists Matt Duncan and Corey Summers.

With elements of both the ocean and the alpine, Duncan said the artists' goal was to show that "what happens in the valley happens in the ocean," and vice versa.

"We're trying to bridge the gap visually with the valley that we live in here, the mountains and the acidification for the oceans," Duncan said.

Two DJs from Gravity Productions will spin tracks from 10 p.m. until close.

Admission to the event is $25, which covers two complimentary cocktails.

Both artists agreed to donate half of their projected revenue tonight to Protect Our Winters, Kiley said, to which 100 percent of the event's proceeds also will be donated.

erobbie@aspentimes.com