Vail Valley Scenery: Pro skier, Western artist team up for Youth Initiative Project fundraiser | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley Scenery: Pro skier, Western artist team up for Youth Initiative Project fundraiser

Chris Anthony and Carrie Fell pose in front of Fell’s painting of Anthony at a Youth Initiative Project fundraiser.
Carolyn Pope | Special to the Daily |

It’s an unlikely combination, an extreme skier and a contemporary Western artist. But these two share a common goal: helping out youth. Last Friday, that’s just what skier and celebrity Chris Anthony and artist Carrie Fell did. Carrie Fell Gallery recently opened its doors for a fun-filled night to raise awareness and money for Anthony’s baby, The Chris Anthony Youth Initiative Project.

The Youth Initiative Project started with school visits more than 16 years ago, when Anthony was asked to be a youth mentor for Colorado Ski Country. He developed a classroom program that has been seen by more than 20,000 students. The school visits are the staple of the Youth Initiative Project. The mission of the organization is to improve quality of life through introducing youth to educational enrichment opportunities. Last fall, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Day of Inspiration recognized Anthony and YIP at the annual YIP kickoff event, with ski industry leaders, athletes and last year’s scholarship winner, Ellie Gober.

Fell has painted an original painting depicting Anthony in an action pose, based on a photo by Jack Affleck. She is donating the painting for auction, with all the proceeds going to Anthony’s nonprofit. The painting was revealed that evening.

Finger-lickin’ good

Two local mixologists, Peter Christy and Brad Reefer, created two killer cocktails made with Svedka vodka and Casa Noble tequila, and Richard A. Bailey served some of his delicious munchies, including my favorite, a finger-lickin’ pork belly bite, from his kitchen at Taste 5 Catering. Chaos Hats also donated signature beanie hats in a neon yellow and lime for each of the guests.

“I became aware of Carrie Fell when her art touched the world I love: skiing,” Anthony said. Fell was the featured artist for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships with her amazing rendition of a downhill skier. “She works the canvas with enormous energy and represents the dynamics of the sport with the right kinesthetic representation. Everything about her touch of the subject to the canvases screamed fun excitement. It represents the way I attempt to see the world.”

Fell is also a part of the mutual admiration society.

“The organization went 16 years without funding,” she said. “I wanted to help it in a way that was fun.”

And fun it was.

For more information on Fell, visit her website at http://www.carrie fellgallery.com. Her gallery is located on the second level of Solaris. Visit http://www.chrisanthony.com/youth-initiative to find out how you can support the Youth Initiative Project.

Carolyn Pope has covered community service events and nonprofit activities since 2001 and co-authored “The Women of Vail.” She can be reached at 970-390-9913.