Artists square off during Thursday’s race |

Artists square off during Thursday’s race

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – Thursday, as Beaver Creek hosts the fastest cyclists in the world for a mountaintop finish during the USA Pro Challenge, the Beaver Creek Art Challenge gets under way as the riders depart Aspen at 11:35 a.m. on their journey to Beaver Creek.

Competing simultaneously as the race unfolds, artists embark on a challenge of their own and will showcase their artistic talent and skills creating one-of-a-kind pieces under the theme “The World is Our Stage.” Cycling fans should plan to watch the Art Challenge at the Beaver Creek Ice Rink in Beaver Creek Village throughout the day as they await the arrival of the riders. Top artists will be awarded prizes on stage prior to the Chris Duarte concert at 5 p.m.

The following artists are set to compete in the Beaver Creek Art Challenge:

• Julie Spinnato has been painting ever since she can remember. She moved to the Vail Valley in 2000, and her paintings have hung in coffee shops and restaurants in Avon, Vail and Edwards. She has public art paintings in Vail Village as well. She has taught plein air and still life painting classes through Scully’s art store and was also a member of the Plaza Gallery, a locals’ art co-operative gallery. She founded Studio Spinnato, Inc, an architecture and art firm in 2007. She currently resides in Denver and continues to paint and practice architecture.

• Shen, formerly known as West Coast graffiti artist ShenShen210, exchanged her spray cans for the airbrush and was named one of the world’s top airbrush talents. Her pop culture- and musical-themed art has been collected by celebrities such as Liza Minnelli, Jack Nicholson and Emilio Estevez. Shen is also the proud winner of the 2012 USA Pro Challenge Poster Contest for Beaver Creek. Shen currently lives, plays, and paints in Vail with her husband and three daughters.

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• New York artist Hazel Murray’s work captures the interpretive and compositional form of landscapes and still lifes. Her careful editing and subjective translation result in paintings of pronounced atmospheric context. Referred to as semi-abstract, Murray’s work is loose in application to suggest a nonperfunctory use of paint, yet the result creates a personal relationship to the motif. She works out of her studios in Manhattan and Colorado on a full-time basis.

• Fletcher MacNeill lived on the East Coast and professionally worked as a graphic designer and art director for major corporations such as Container Corporation, Mobil and freelancing for independent design studios. He then spent several years in California as a designer for Atari and Container Corporation again and did various freelance assignments. In Vail, MacNeill had a design studio in Crossroads and designed the logos for Sweet Basil restaurant, Younger Generation and other local businesses. Now he is happy to relax corporate constraints and create art in his own fashion and vision.

• Dale Nelson is a custom woodworker and furniture maker based in Avon. He hopes to showcase his talent by making a hall table with traditional and contemporary joinery methods incorporating the theme of “The World is Our Stage.”

• Sheila Trowbridge says, “I love color, I love bikes. Coming from a ceramic tile background, I have been painting a variety of surfaces for the past 25 years and try to always push myself to try something new.”

• Jeff Desautels paints in oils, using painting knives to combine rich textural detail with bring color applications to achieve an effect akin to both impressionist and expressionist art. This quality lends itself to painting sports action pieces, and Desautels is able to impart a sense of movement to his work that many patrons have found irresistible. Professional bicycle racing is a natural subject for Desautels’ sports “movement” paintings. Vivid, primary color-dominated team jerseys work well with the texture of knife painting, and Desautels has painted images from the Tour de France for a number of years.

• Other artists scheduled to compete include Amy Dose, Barton Gunderson, Paul Wertin and Julian Banks.

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