This year’s Winter Carnival poster invokes a feeling we’ve all been missing
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It was last summer when local artist Sarah Juschka received a phone call asking her to design the annual poster for the 108th Winter Carnival. She immediately got to work planning out her design, which was more difficult than she imagined.
“It was such an honor to be asked,” she said. “I had so many ideas, and I changed my mind three times.”
After researching designs from the past five years, she decided that she wanted to do a daytime scene, rather than the typical evening scene with fireworks over Howelsen Hill.
The poster this year depicts iconic downtown Lincoln Avenue with a beautiful mountain backdrop. There are bright lights, fireworks and lots of red, white and blue for that all-American feel, she explained.
“Because of the hard year that everyone has had with COVID and so many things changing constantly, I wanted the poster to evoke a traditional mountain town vibe,” Juschka said. “I wanted it to give people that warm, fuzzy feeling that we’ve all been missing.”
Juschka’s design will not only be featured on posters this year but also on neck gaiters, which are available to purchase as an additional fundraising item benefiting the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, which hosts the Winter Carnival each year.
It is Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty who chooses the artist for the poster each year. This year, the decision was unanimous, according to Director of Marketing Kelsey Harkins.
“After looking at wonderful work from several local creatives, the committee felt that Sarah’s pieces were fun, colorful and appealed to the masses,” Harkins said. “Her artwork has a way of making you feel joyful, and we wanted that to translate onto this year’s Winter Carnival poster art.”
Juschka, who has had a passion for art since she was a little girl, said she tends to see beauty in everything around her.
“Even when others don’t see it, I always try to pull from the positive side of things,” she said.
Growing up, she would draw and paint endlessly.
“I would get so excited if I had high quality paper and some sharpened pencils,” she said.
Art came effortlessly for her, and while she recognized her gift, she didn’t always pursue it. After college, she worked in the banking industry before becoming a real estate appraiser, a field she continues in to this day. She and her husband eventually got started in property development, building homes in Northern Colorado. Juschka worked as a property manager and real estate broker to sell and manage the homes they built.
But art was always on the side. When staging houses, she often created paintings for various rooms. The paintings sold quickly, and she was reminded of her talent and her passion.
“I felt like I needed to honor the gift that I was given,” she said. “If you know something is right for you, pursue it and follow your heart.”
When Juschka and her family moved to Steamboat a decade ago, she put together a portfolio of her original work, secured an interview with a gallery and got in.
Her art has been on display at Stel Gallery and Steamboat Creates and is currently on display on her website at sarahsfineart.net. And in addition to running her real estate appraisal business, raising her three children, producing commissioned art and teaching art classes at Strawberry Park Elementary School, she can now add Winter Carnival poster artist to her resume.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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