Going All Out
By Dan Greeson
367 donors are recognized on artwork at the top of All Out at the Stevens Family Alpine Venue. Photo courtesy of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Two-and-a-half years ago, former U.S. Ski Team Alpine Olympic gold medalist Deb Armstrong had a vision for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. On a snowy day in February she stood by the new start house, at the top of a designated race run at the Steamboat Ski Area with a mural depicting the 367 donors who allowed her vision to become a reality.
“This is the cherry on the cake,” Armstrong says.
The Stevens Family Alpine Venue officially opened with the All Out race facility in December without one component – artwork to recognize those that contributed towards the $2.4 million raised for the project. It was a work in progress.
“I wanted artwork, not just a sign on the wall with names,” says Steve Speer, a board member for the SSWSC and volunteer project manager during construction.
Jim Boyne, SSWSC executive director, and Speer approached Greg Effinger at Creative Bearings with a shared vision – to create something in All Out that embodied the three disciplines (alpine, telemark and snowboarding), the Steamboat Ski Area and the long list of donors.
Effinger’s first design fashioned a downhill skier in gold, a snowboarder in silver and a telemark skier in bronze with blue skies, snow, additional ski runs and trees in a 7-foot by 20-foot 3D metal collage. Font sizes would depict donor-giving levels with space for larger dedications.
“His first try was perfect,” Boyne says.
A digital rendering of the artwork was used as a display during many fundraising efforts, largely fronted by a team of three local couples: John and Carrie Hayden, Lonny and Pam Vanatta, and Steve and Karen Speer.
Creative Bearings sent artwork to metal fabricators in Wisconsin. “Individually cut shapes of aluminum were anodized in gold, silver, bronze or painted in silvers, blues, reds and greens to match the art,” Effinger says. His own team sand-blasted names of every contributor onto the metal, and then each piece was numbered and boxed, arriving at SSWSC like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
All 204 pieces of the aluminum mosaic had to be positioned individually onto the 10-foot by 20-foot space on the west side of the start house. “It took four of us two days to drill over 2,000 holes and fill them with threaded studs and silicon to put up the artwork,” Speer says.
“The precision of the process and the quality of the engineering was amazing,” Boyne says. Speer and the team of volunteers who gave their time believe it will become an iconic image.
“SSWSC has always been an integral part of the growing Steamboat community. The community has really outdone themselves in making All Out and the Stevens Family Alpine Venue possible,” Effinger says.