Meet the artist of the 2020 Winter Carnival button: Faith Hixson |

Meet the artist of the 2020 Winter Carnival button: Faith Hixson

The 2020 Winter Carnival button.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Of the 53 young artists who sketched, painted and crafted design concepts depicting the 107th Winter Carnival theme, “Light Up The Sky,” Faith Hixson is the one whose work will grace the 2020 Winter Carnival button. 

A Yampa Valley resident of three years, 16-year-old Hixson has never experienced a Winter Carnival first hand — this February’s will be her first. But when a friend mentioned the button design contest, Hixson was interested. 

“Right off the bat, (the scene of Howelsen Hill under fireworks) was my general idea,” Hixson said.

Working from photograph references of both fireworks and Howelsen, Hixson sketched out the picture on card stock in colored pencil: a grand view of the hill, blanketed in snow and trees, with fireworks exploding across the sky and the lodge at the base of the hill beneath it all. 

But Hixson, whose art usually arrives in the form of a drawing, felt something was missing.

“I’ve never really learned enough about painting or color value to do much painting,” Hixson said.

But she decided to go for it. She painted over her sketch in layers of acrylic with three different brushes, darkening the piece and making the colors more vivid.

“To be honest, it’s not my favorite work, but I liked it enough to send it in (to the contest),” she said. 

Hixson’s design, alongside 52 others, was open for online voting in November and December. The top three designs by popular vote moved onto a final round of judging, joined by three more designs chosen by a Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club jury. From those six concepts, the jury selected Hixson’s to represent this year’s Winter Carnival.

If you go: 2020 Winter Carnival

Click here to view a full schedule of events for the 2020 Winter Carnival, running from Wednesday, Feb. 5, to Sunday, Feb. 9, in Steamboat Springs.

It will be found on posters, websites and digital and print publications — and, of course, on the thousands of buttons pinned to festivalgoers’ jackets throughout the five-day carnival.

“I think (seeing my art everywhere) will be pretty strange,” Hixson said with a laugh.

Hixson’s regular body of work is composed mostly of sketches of animals. Her sketch of a bear — which does qualify as a favorite work of hers — can be found displayed at Memorial Regional Health in Craig, where it won first place in the hospital’s art contest. 

“I really like capturing emotions on paper,” Hixson said. 

Hixson, who is homeschooled, lives in North Routt with her family and their dogs. When she’s not making art, she also enjoys playing piano and guitar.

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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