Virtual Art Year-round from Gay Ski Week
‘Art on the Virtual Slopes’ launches online auction
Aspen Gay Ski Week was a quiet affair in 2021. Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, the longest running gay ski gathering in the world moved events into virtual spaces and nixed cultural traditions like the Fashion & Art Night Out.
But this bedrock of Aspen winter and gay pride celebrations – set to mark its 45th anniversary in 2022 – has launched a virtual curated art exhibition and auction that promises to raise funds for LGBTQ causes while celebrating artists in the Aspen Gay Ski Week tradition.
“We decided to put together a curation of artists within the rainbow that represent our community,” said Steve Galindo, co-host of an “Art on the Virtual Slopes” live-streamed event on Jan. 20. “I thought this would be a great way to highlight members of our community and raise money.”
Galindo, best known as @thestyleguyde on social media, hosted the virtual event from Los Angeles with curator Diane Allen. It kicked off what promises to be a year-long auction at aspegayskiweek.com raising funds for the local nonprofit AspenOUT.
The auction launched Wednesday with two oil pastel works on wood by Amanda Flowers. They promised more pieces to follow in the days to come from the likes of New Orleans art star Ashley Longshore among others
Galindo said he will host monthly live-streamed events featuring artist interviews as the auction expands online.
“So you can really get to know their work, their story,” he explained.
The kickoff virtual event included Zoom interviews with Flowers, Sage Gallen, Daniel Duggan, Theodor Bayer and Zachary Crane.
Crane, a painter and muralist based in Utah, vented about his COVID exasperation and his frustrations with an on-site job he’s currently working on for a paycheck (“I hate it! I hate the client!”) but also shared some of the playful and ski-centric paintings that will be part of the Gay Ski Week art auction.
They include colorful and cheeky pieces like his “Ski Bums,” showcasing a pair of bare-bottomed skiers in knit sweaters and Moon Boots (Crane, in the Aspen spirit, showed off his own Moon Boots and a pink fur during the interview) and his color-popping representations of ski chalets. The works appear ready-made for an Aspen penthouse or barroom.
“I love winter fashion, I love winter, obviously, I love fur,” he said, “That’s why when I was approached to do this I obviously said, ‘yes.’”
He made the series during a three-week ski trip to the French Alps with an eye on creating a “retro, sexy, playful” vibe splashed with his signature color play. Crane noted that other artists are bringing weightier works to the Gay Ski Week auction, some grappling with queer identity and empowerment. But he is proud to bring a lighter touch to the mix, virtually, until this time next year when a full-scale Gay Ski Week can again take over Aspen.
“What I hope I’m contributing is that I’m like the dumb sexy blonde, just here to have fun,” he said. “I’m just a damn good time.”
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.