Insight Update

Alterra celebrates art & culture with Forward Stance Studio

Alterra Mountain Company further celebrates the unique character and culture of its mountain destinations by unveiling Forward Stance Studio, which began with an investment of more than $1 million to support diverse, local, and sustainability-conscious artists to develop public art installations that capture the essence of each destination, creating the Forward Stance Studio.

Kicked off in winter 2022 and inspired by the four pillars of Alterra – Prioritizing People, Protecting the Planet, Investing in Community, and Operating Responsibly – Forward Stance Studio is a platform designed to celebrate the many transformative experiences found within Alterra’s distinctive mountain communities across North America. Each destination was asked to identify conversations they wanted to facilitate within their community through an on-site public art installation. An artist selection and installation followed, resulting in multi-year projects that created new relationships within the community.

“By commissioning diverse, local artists to create unique pieces that express the community and its people, we renew our commitment to cultivate an inclusive culture and invite our guests into moments of meaningful conversation,” said Karen Sanford, Chief Legal & Social Responsibility Officer, Alterra Mountain Company. “Art has the power to speak to people in a way that is uniquely individual and transcends all boundaries.”

Completed pieces are on display at Blue Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort, Tremblant, Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Solitude, Crystal Mountain, and Deer Valley with more pieces slated to be installed at other destinations in the coming months. For more information on each art installation and future projects from Forward Stance Studio, please visit The Forward Stance Studio page.

Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada
Guests headed to Blue Mountain this winter will encounter a captivating public art installation that encapsulates a deep appreciation and celebration of Indigenous cultures and communities. The resort developed a relationship with artist Kathryn Corbiere, an Anishinaabe-kwe from M’Chigeeng First Nation, after a call for submissions issued on Canadian Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2022. One year later, on Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2023, Blue Mountain unveiled Elevate | Mbin’ge, an artistic collaboration that beautifully showcases the rich cultural heritage and artistic expressions of Indigenous communities. Grounded gently in place by seven pillars, the sculpture reaches toward the mountains giving a sense of upward motion, elevating the eyes and the spirit. It is designed to reference the Indigenous people, with its seven pillars forming a traditional teepee and dedicated to one of the 7 fire teachings (values) of the Anishinaabe culture: love, respect, honesty, bravery, humility, truth, and wisdom. The Anishinaabe peoples are the original inhabitants and stewards of the territory where Blue Mountain is now situated.

Big Bear Mountain Resort, California
Long-standing as a beacon of progression and innovation within the snowsports landscape, Big Bear Mountain Resort embarked on a creative installation that reflects the destination’s collected heritage. Exploring the tapestry of Southern California mountain culture, local artist James Haunt created a vibrant mural, Snow Dreams, embodying the diversity of guests who have found footing there. Focused on a mantra of unity through creativity, James paints the destination as a hub where unique backgrounds have blended and created on a shared canvas of snow – where every rider contributes to the collective narrative.

Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
Further defining an iconic experience in Quebec, sculptor Mathieu Isabelle has infused the heart of Tremblant’s pedestrian village with cultural vibrancy through an art installation titled, Take Me to the Top, celebrating joie de vivre. Crafted from recycled mechanical metal pieces from lifts and snowmaking equipment, this stainless-steel silhouette represents a person walking toward the summit – a year-round symbol of activity and an invitation for all to embrace the joy of this dynamic, inclusive landscape.

Steamboat, Colorado
Globally recognized as a leader in mountain adventure, Steamboat is celebrating inclusivity in the outdoors through a collaborative project with local artist Sage Sullivan. Prompted by the question, “What makes you feel most welcome in the outdoors?” and by embracing the theme of inclusivity, Sullivan envisions a large multimedia sculpture embodying the welcoming spirit of outdoor play and connection to nature. With inspiration born within the Medicine Bow Forest, this sculpture will reflect the sway of aspens, rich wildflower blooms, and the interconnectedness of nature and culture.

Winter Park Resort, Colorado
At Winter Park Resort, the Forward Stance Studio project represents a continuation of existing relationships with Native and Indigenous artists, skiers, riders, and outdoor stewards. The new art installation was developed after four years of discussions, designs, and collaboration on ways to raise awareness of Winter Park’s sense of place, original Native and Indigenous heritage, and snow’s vital importance that extends far beyond recreation. Winter Park partnered with NativesOutdoors, a Native-owned athletic and creative collective, to identify artists and Indigenous views to guide the project, named There Is Snow On The Ground, the English translation of the Arapaho word “heniiniini’ (pronounced hee nee nee neh).” Comprised of four separate elements, the multifaceted installation tells the story of snow and acts as a catalyst for critical conversations on water, recreation, and land. The four components are: 1. a focal piece installed in front of Sunspot Mountaintop Lodge, 2. a redesign of the Winter Park snow stake, 3. redesigns of Eagle Wind trail signs, and 4. the addition of Native and Indigenous perspectives to historical trail markers.

Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah
Solitude Mountain Resort, in collaboration with renowned local artist Lamont Joseph White, proudly presents an original piece now displayed at the Moonbeam Lodge. Strategically situated in this vibrant mountain setting, Jump Off serves as a catalyst for meaningful conversations about fostering inclusivity in mountain spaces. Rejecting the notion that race and color are inconsequential, the artwork champions the acknowledgment and celebration of our differences. In this way, Lamont’s art boldly represents individuals who might feel excluded from traditional outdoor spaces, delivering a powerful message of welcome and acceptance for everyone on the mountain.

Crystal Mountain, Washington
Crystal Mountain and artist Mary Iverson worked closely with artist Keith Stevenson from the Muckleshoot Tribe, Tieton Mosaic and Dillon Works to bring her concept, The Circle of Life Tower into existence. Using a section of an old chairlift tower, it represents the beauty of nature in its path through time, combining a beautiful mosaic, colored glass, steelwork, carved wooden animals, and a whirligig made of skis. Every visual element wraps around the central tower, in a spiral that echoes the cyclical aspects of nature: moon cycles, the changing seasons, the force of the wind, the four directions, the fleeting beauty of wildflowers, and the power of animals. Debuting this winter, the tower will stand for joy and beauty, inviting everyone who sees it to think about their connection to nature, their friendships, and the ancient story of the land.

Deer Valley, Utah
Commemorating the legacy of the iconic Burns Chairlift, Deer Valley collaborated with five local artists who represent diverse and underrepresented groups in the local community. Through this innovative partnership, each artist has drawn from their own experience and vision to transform two retired chairlift benches. With a direct nod to social art practice, these art-adorned benches have been strategically placed across the destination’s six peaks and four base areas, inviting guests on an engaging and interactive art hunt. Artists include: Anna Moore, Lamont Joseph White, Anna Moore, Jessica Repko, Abby Ringquist, and Philip Vasquez.

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