If it's blank, 15-year-old Alex Stegmaier draws on it. She draws on her shoes and her jeans and on her notebooks at school. She interacts with the outside world through her pen. Last year, when Ride Snowboards and ArtLink partnered to host a snowboard design competition, Stegmaier found out about it four days before the deadline and didn't participate.
But this year, the Steamboat Springs High School student will have her snowboard design on the wall next to 325 other entries from all over the world.
"It's intimidating," she said, "but I didn't do it to win. I did it just to enter."
Stegmaier's design is a pen-and-ink drawing that covers the whole face of the snowboard. Like her other artwork, it's a psychedelic design that ties faces and imagery together. On one side of her snowboard, she drew a fairy sitting on a moon. A sun shines from the other side, and a tree in the middle holds them together.
Stegmaier took art classes during the summer at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp but didn't sign up for an art class this year at the high school. She said she becomes a better artist by drawing constantly.
The contest began last year when ArtLink organizer Susan Scheisser decided to curate a show of snowboard artwork in the Small Works Gallery at the Depot Art Center, where she worked.
She contacted Ride Snowboards to help with the show. Ride creative director Mike Styskal and Ride art director Mark Fankhauser wanted to get involved and came up with the concept for the contest. They advertised the contest on Ride's Web site, which receives hits from around the world. The contest almost doubled in size this year, and Scheisser thinks it will continue to grow.
A reception for "Snowboard Art 2: A Graphics Competition" begins at 5 p.m. today.
"This show is 80 percent cutting-edge, high-quality graphics," Scheisser said, "and I think it is gaining respect in the graphic design community."
The first-place winner will receive $1,000, plus a snowboard with his or her design. In all, Ride will make five snowboards with the winning design. The remaining four will be auctioned, and the proceeds will benefit the Surfrider Foundation's Snowrider Project and ArtLink.
Other local snowboard designers entered in this competition include Gregory Block, Joe Fontaine, Jesse Pegorsch, Amy Pike, Anselm Bradford and Bettina Nicholson.
After tonight's show, "Snowboard Art 2" will be on display at Toys in the Attic, Mambo Italiano, Centennial Hall, The Tugboat Grill and Pub and Rio Grande.