Skiing In Color

Image: Kelsey Johnson
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Skiing In Color

Raised in the New York City Metropolitan Area, Lamont Joseph White wasn’t introduced to the sport of skiing until his early twenties. However, the artist has vivid memories of his younger self observing the slopes with his family and wondering what the sensation of sliding on snow might feel like. This wonder later evolved into a life-long passion, and in January 2020, White’s vision for his latest collection of paintings, “Skiing In Color,” began to take shape. 

Lamont White snowboarding. Photography by Mateo Tobia

(Photo: Mateo Tobia)

“I was exploring the experience of being one of the few Black and brown people in different environments. I wanted to focus on something that I love—which is skiing and snowboarding and living in the mountains—and the best way for me to express that is through my artwork... When you are the only person in a space that looks like you, the importance of representation moves to the forefront.’

[“Skiing in Color”] is a celebration, but it’s also an invitation to those with brown or black skin who might be like, ‘skiing’s just not for me.’ And also an invitation for this conversation: what else do we need to learn here, why are there so few [people of color], what can we do and does it matter?”

Lamont White's Skiing in Color collection.

(Photos: Mateo Tobia)

Lamont White working on Skiing in Color collection.

Painted during White’s residency in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the collection “Skiing in Color” was coincidentally released alongside nationwide discussions of racial tension, though the inspiration for his work began much earlier. White’s joyful and colorful work lies in stark contrast to the decades-long issues it strives to address while paying homage to notable Black figures such as Rosa Parks and Fredric Douglas through modernized, slopeside portraits. While these icons may never have skied themselves, White’s question persists: In a predominantly white sport, what does skiing look like, in color? 

The answer also includes paintings of the everyday Black person, featuring afros haloing out from ski goggles, a young girl’s sheepish grin, high-fashion poses and stern portraiture. The paintings not only answer, but invite. 

Lamont White's Skiing in Color collection at Snowbird Gallery

White now lives in Park City, Utah, with his wife Jeannine, and dog, Bowie, where he enjoys skiing and all else that the mountains have to offer. 

Snowbird is honored to display select prints of the original work in the Bird’s Nest, located on Level 2 of the Snowbird Center, starting on May 6, 2021.

About the Author

Originally from Los Angeles, Sarah traded surf for snow and now works as Snowbird's PR & copywriting extraordinaire. When not at work, you can find her skiing, mountain biking, playing with her dog or rooting for the USC Trojans.

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