“Snowmass Grand Prix is an important stop on the road to 2018 Winter Olympics”
by Austin Colbert
The medals handed out at this week’s Toyota U.S. Grand Prix were designed by Ridgway artist Lisa Issenberg, who designed the medals for last year’s FIS World Cup Finals in Aspen and other events. For the Grand Prix, Issenberg said she used a mix of handcrafted and industrial techniques and no two medals are the same. In celebration of Snowmass’s 50th anniversary season, Issenberg incorporated the “Snowmass 50” logo as the bib.
World Cup Medals Created by Ridgway Artist
Lisa Issenberg’s custom awards spread around the globe
by Tanya Ishikawa
Lisa Issenberg works in her Ridgway studio. “There’s so much joy around the whole process of creating awards that honor people’s accomplishments,” she says. (Photo by Elizabeth Riley)
This week, a few works of Colorado art are headed to Switzerland, Germany and Norway, among other countries called home by the winners of the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup. Designed and handcrafted in a Ridgway studio, the medals from last weekend’s ski race in Beaver Creek are just the first few by metal artist Lisa Issenberg that will be awarded this winter.
In past years, top American winter athletes also have taken home an original medal by Kiitellä, Issenberg’s studio’s name, which means “to thank, applaud, praise” in Finnish. Ten of her awards have been won by Mikaela Shiffrin, six by Megan McJames, five by Tim Jitloff, four by Ted Ligety, and two by Lindsey Vonn, to name a few.
TAB25: Limited edition leather and stainless steel cuff created by Kiitella in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Telluride AIDS Benefit. Each purchase supports the work of AIDS Service Organizations in Colorado and Africa. They were launched on World Aids Day at the TAB Dance Party, and will be available again at the 25th Anniversary TAB Fashion Show in March (get your tickets!). Meanwhile, you can also find them in Telluride at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.
The story behind the Birds of Prey medals
by Ross Leonhart
You won’t find participation trophies at the Birds of Prey World Cup races at Beaver Creek. For the three fastest men in three disciplines, a custom, hand-made medal awaits at the podium — made by Lisa Issenberg, of Telluride [Ridgway, CO].
“The Birds of Prey I see as a high-level, sophisticated and traditional event — gold, silver and bronze represented with a classic, clean medal,” said Issenberg, who’s been commissioned by the Vail Valley Foundation to make the medals for the Birds of Prey races for a few years now. “Whereas some of the other ones — like some of the snowboard and free skiing medals — I make a little edgier. It just depends.”
Small Footprint, Outsized Potential
Microbusinesses help strengthen, diversify local economy
by Amy M. Peters
Many of this area’s businesses are based in real estate, agriculture and tourism, but the tri-county region also brims with craft manufacturers. Smaller companies may be less well-known. But they are important, because they help strengthen and diversify the economy.
Big businesses are “very unstable,” said Paul Major, the Telluride Foundation’s executive director. “They get overconcentrated (and lack) diversity, so when commodity prices go down, they’re all standing with their pants around their ankles asking, what happened to our economy here?”
The Birds of Prey medals… classic, minimal, sleek and hefty in gold, silver and bronze (brass, stainless steel and bronze)… This past weekend the Men’s FIS Alpine World Cup racers competed again at Beaver Creek, the only US stop on the tour.
The COSMIC Series kicked off at Eldora this past weekend with a bang. Congrats to winners of the Sprint, Vertical and Individual races. Kiitella’s COSMIC award is layered with symbolism, all contained in a minimal and sleek steel medallion. The cutout shape in the center: pozidriv (driv.. not drive), topo map background, compass dial – it spins, and 6mm accessory cord. Non-functional, yet totally inspired medals for the burly racers.
The AMGA recognized and thanked their Board of Directors for their time served with Kiitella’s custom-made steel clocks. Polished, jet-cut mild steel, a mountain silhouette, and the AMGA logo framed at six o’clock… Art plus function plus recognition.
Kiitella’s small, yet hefty, steel mountain trophies for this year’s American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) honorees: The four awards… Guide of the Year: Marc Chauvin, President’s Award: Betsy Winter, Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding: Alain Comeau, and Employee of the Year: Ed Crothers.