Faction Skis Adds Color to New Denver Mural Space
Words by Chris Shalbot // Photos and video Level 1 Productions. Over the summer, evo approached Faction Skis with the opportunity to produce the first mural on our new Denver store wall. The Verbier, Switzerland based ski brand has their North American offices in Breckenridge, Colorado and when they presented some initial concept drawings by Women’s Series artist Kay Flockhart we immediately had to make it happen as our inaugural Denver mural. Once we agreed this was the direction we wanted to go, the next step was nailing down dates and booking Kay’s flight from her home in the United Kingdom.
After lots of emails and multiple Skype and FaceTime calls over unreliable connections, Kay was finally on the ground in Denver, methodically translating her concept drawings to the side of our wall. Over the course of eight days and roughly 90 hours, Kay made the scaffolding along the Denver store’s north wall her home. Working from sun up to sun down, Kay’s hummingbirds, butterflies and flowers borrowed from the Prodigy W skis were tied together with a woman’s figure and long flowing braids. One of the most challenging parts of the whole project was managing her time to allow for creativity flexibility within the layout. “If you’ve got a strong idea and you’ve got all your materials down then that gives you the freedom to explore with what you’re actually creating.” For Kay it was the perfect balance of a classic fine arts design offset by “happy accidents” and imperfect elements of raw street art. Kay came knowing she had to be flexible, open minded and prepared to address weather, wall and other unknown obstacles that could prevent her from meeting the hard deadline of the flight back home.
Kay grew up in a mining town in England’s Yorkshire region. She didn’t take to skiing much until later on in life. “Skiing was what rich people did on holidays, skiing from restaurant to restaurant.” It wasn’t until some new found friends exposed her to skiing off -piste and the park and pipe that she truly took to it. Her work with Faction has offered her traveling opportunities all over Europe, the US and Japan to ski and produce art. She wants to share the message that turning what you love to do into work are out there, and that where you grow up doesn’t have to be a setback. “When I was growing up I never thought that there would be a job where you could create art for a ski company.”
Kay would also like to offer some other inspiration with the Denver mural project. Kay has decided to donate her commission from the project to the Refugee Children Crisis. As a mother of a young daughter, Kay hopes to use her actions not only to raise awareness but to inspire others to offer help to these children whose tragic circumstances are the result of factors beyond their control. Kay states that stepping out of one’s comfort zone brings a lot of positivity. “There is a lot of fear in the world and when you go out and immerse yourself in it you see that there is a lot of good in people, and a lot of good in the world.” She hopes that one day these lessons of being open-minded, putting yourself out there, and kind acts towards those less fortunate will inspire her daughter to do the same. At least once a year, Kay and her husband do some sort of volunteering or large scale donation, usually centered around children. They hope to encourage their daughter to step outside of her comfort zone and explore the world when old enough- because people don’t truly know what they’re capable of or that there is good in most of humanity until they make themselves vulnerable.
Despite long days and the tight timeline that Kay was up against she had nothing but wonderful things to say about the Denver mural project as a whole and is looking forward to coming back and doing another mural with Faction and evo. Kay put together a blog post for Faction’s site documenting the daily progress of the wall along with some of the daily interactions.
evo would like to thank Harriet, Rex and Dave at Faction Skis for helping to make this project a reality, Josh Berman and Level 1 Productions for helping tell the story of the project through video and photos and to Zach Berman and Freeskier for additional coverage of the project and store opening, along with Sara at Denver True Value for the generous paint donation. Please stop by in person and let us know what you think of Kay’s work and stay tuned for our grand opening events.