There’s a natural symmetry to skiing and art. Both are expressions of an inner spirit; a sinewy set of tracks down the Face of Bell are an expression as artistic as a painting or a sculpture — the canvas is snow and the brushes are skis.
For the last 17 years, Aspen Snowmass has celebrated the union of art and snow sports with Art in Unexpected Places—known as ArtUP—designed to integrate creative expression with our mountains in surprising ways. Originally conceived through a partnership with the Aspen Art Museum, the program has featured artworks on Aspen Cards, lift tickets, and season passes, as well as artist discussions and workshops, a series of books, and art installations both on-mountain and throughout the resort in our hotels and restaurants.
“I am in love, obsessed with, and totally overwhelmed by bears, and I live and breathe next to mountains. We all share a deep, ancestral bond with animals that comes from our past when we were living in close proximity with them."

–Artist Paola Pivi

Introducting the 2021-22 Lift Tickets

During Aspen Snowmass’ 2021-2022 winter season, look for Italian-born artist Paola Pivi’s bright, feathered bears across Aspen Snowmass. Pivi is known for her contemporary multimedia work across mediums including sculpture, photography, video, installation, drawing, and performance; this series features colorful, feather-adorned polar bears doing yoga, reclining, and interacting in human-like fashion. The whimsical creations are a joyful connection of the natural and human worlds.

Pivi, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska, often fuses ecology into her art. “I am in love, obsessed with, and totally overwhelmed by bears, and I live and breathe next to mountains,” says Pivi. “We all share a deep, ancestral bond with animals that comes from our past when we were living in close proximity with them. These sculptures of bears represent a connection between us and the planet.” Both ethical and ecological matters inform Pivi’s work. Through centering animals in her art, she encourages us to question what it means to be human and how we relate to nature.

The bears first appeared in an art show at Perrotin gallery in New York City in 2013. Pivi then spent time expanding her work and held a larger show in 2019 at the same gallery with 70 baby bears. She has also had her work shown in Shanghai, Paris, Tokyo, and beyond. Here at Aspen Snowmass, images of Pivi’s art will adorn all lift tickets, and two bears will be featured on-mountain for the entirety of the 2021-2022 season, bringing both color and contemplation to the slopes.

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