STOWE — The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum is presenting a 90-minute Zoom discussion: ‘The Art of The Graphic’ as part of its virtual Red Bench Speaker Series, Thursday, March 25, starting at 7 p.m.

Anyone interested should register at www.vtssm.org/events. The event is free, but a $10 donation is encouraged and appreciated. Attendance is limited to 500 participants.

“We’ve assembled a panel that has hundreds of graphics to their names on some of the best selling skis and boards of all time. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into designing ski or snowboard graphics and how designers come up with their ideas, you’ll want to sit in on this Red Bench discussion,” said Dave Schmidt, Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum board member and event moderator.

Panelists scheduled include: Stephanie Nitsch, co-founder and creative director of Pallas Snowboards; Josh Brown, owner of Capacitor Design Network, who currently works with Nordica Skis; Tim Clayton, a designer for J Skis and 4FRNT with prior work for Atomic and Line skis; Dennis Healy, graphic designer and former creative director for Burton and Rome Snowboards who has also done work for Silence Snowboards; Scott Lenhardt, whose designs are featured on more than 50 snowboards for Burton Snowboards; Jason Levinthal, founder and owner of J Skis and founder of Line Skis; and Jackson Tupper, in-house graphic designer at Burton Snowboards.

The process involved around getting a design onto a board or ski is a collaboration between the creative directors and the graphic designers and artists and often may include some of the professional skiers and riders, especially when it is a “signature” ski or board, Schmidt said.

“We’ll discuss where the original inspiration comes from for a graphic and then the process it goes through from concept to final graphic,” he said.

Audience members will able to submit questions during the discussion via the Q & A event.

The Red Bench Series is in its fourth year. Past topics of discussion have ranged from the World War II Odyssey of the 10th Mountain Division, America’s Elite Alpine Warriors; to Influential Women of Snowboarding, to the Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast.

Before last March, the discussions were held in person at the Stowe museum. However, the Zoom meetings have been so successful the museum plans to continue to offer the Zoom option when in-person attendance resumes.

“Prior to the pandemic we could greet and socialize with our members, supporters, and guests in person. We would open the museum after hours and prior to the start of the discussion giving people time to explore the museum. We miss everyone dearly,” said Abby Blackburn executive director of the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum.

“When we went virtual, we quickly realized we could expand our reach, both in topics and attendance. We were able to host panelists from anywhere in the world which meant we could explore topics that otherwise might have been a challenge,” she said. “We’ve had panelists join us from Canada, Finland, Switzerland, and across the US. Without the boundary of our physical location, our audience has also grown.”

She added, “Anyone can tune in regardless of their location and these discussions are now available to those that otherwise couldn’t join us in person. This virtual series has been a silver-lining for us during the pandemic. We thoroughly enjoy welcoming hundreds of people to the virtual red bench each month.”

Upcoming discussions include: April 1, John Morton, Author of “Celebrate Winter: An Olympian’s Stories of a Life in Nordic Skiing”; and April 22, A Conversation with Phil Mahre. Mahre is a former World Cup alpine ski racer, widely regarded as one of the greatest American skiers of all time. His 27 World Cup race wins is fourth among Americans, only behind Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Bode Miller. At the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, he won a gold medal just beating his brother Steve, who won the silver.

“These events are entertaining and informational. Regardless if you’re a snowboarder, skier, Nordic skier, aspire to learn, or maybe you’ve retired from the sports; these discussions are sure to inspire. We hope our audience continues to grow and we’re able to share the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum with more people. When visiting in-person is easier, we hope you’re inspired to visit us in Stowe,” Blackburn said.

The discussion series gets its name from an actual red bench that spent years around the fireplace in the Octagon Lodge at the top of Stowe. Today, the bench sits on the first floor of the Stowe museum and continues its role as a gathering point for skiers and snowboarders.

The Red Bench Series sponsors include Sisler Builders of Stowe and Vermont Ski + Ride. For more information go to www.vtssm.org.

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