The story behind the 2023 Winter Carnival poster |

The story behind the 2023 Winter Carnival poster

Steamboat Springs artist Joanne Orce made the 2023 Winter Carnival poster.
Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club/Courtesy photo

When Joanne Orce was contacted to create the poster for the 110th Winter Carnival, she asked the children on the Steamboat Springs Swim Team, which she coaches, what their favorite event is. The consensus was the Soda Pop Slalom at Howelsen Hill, so she integrated it into the background of her vision in colorful detail.

In the foreground, she drew a ski jumper mid-flight, and looked to one of the girls in the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club as her model.

The resulting scene is packed with activity and motion, as the viewer can feel the ski jumper elevate in contrast to the skiers going downhill in the distance.

“I want them to experience the festivity of Winter Carnival,” Orce said. “And movement, and color and action.”

Orce decided to include a small, interesting detail that can be easily missed. In the bottom-right corner is a skier who’s turned around and looking backwards while wearing a blue winter sports jacket. That’s her son Kenny, a ninth grader who skis with the SSWSC.

“I feel like that’s how he skis with me because he’s always turning around waiting for me,” Orce said.

Athletics and winter sports have been a big part of Orce’s life. Though she moved here from New York three and a half years ago, she’s visited here for much of her life. Winter Carnival was the first time she had ever seen authentic ski jumping, which she said grabbed her attention. Prior to that, she had only seen ski jumping during the summer at Lake Placid when kids would jump into swimming pools.

She moved to Steamboat from New York with her three kids, who have each developed strong local ties. Her oldest daughter Hannah recently started student-teaching at Strawberry Park Elementary School, and her second oldest daughter, Teagan, is studying at the University of Denver.

2023 Winter Carnival Schedule

See a full schedule of events here:

Orce is also a teacher. She leads various workshops and classes at the Steamboat Art Museum, including several “Try Me Days,” where she introduces people to the techniques of oil painting.

“I love teaching, like a lot,” Orce said.

She’s a co-owner of the Pine Moon Fine Art gallery, and in November her “Iconic Steamboat” collection of paintings was featured, showcasing many local landmarks such as the Space Station, the Rabbit Ears Motel and the Sleeping Giant.

“I love painting anything to do with Steamboat,” she said. “I’m very inspired by this place.”

Neck gaiters with Orce’s design are also for sale. The posters are being sold for $10 while the buffs are going for $15. A button or gaiter gets entry to all events, as well as free lift tickets to ski or ride at Howelsen Hill from Feb. 8-12.

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