A Passion for Art and Skiing

first_imgWhitefish Centennial poster created by Pete Thomas. WHITEFISH – Drawing and skiing. Pete Thomas has always had an affinity for both. His love of illustration started when he was a kid doodling all over school folders. Skiing was just a natural pastime for a boy growing up in the mountains outside of Denver. Wherever Thomas landed, like Whitefish 16 years ago, he remained a skier and artist, and this past year he was given the opportunity to blend both lifelong passions into one viable business pursuit. The 41-year-old artist has started designing skis for one of the sport’s pioneering companies, HEAD. Thomas illustrated the top sheet artwork for HEAD’s Peak series, which debuted this winter. Thomas, a graphic designer at ZaneRay Group, a full service design and website consultancy company in Whitefish, stayed true to his background as an illustrator who is influenced by vintage style. The result fit right in with HEAD’s classic design and the company contracted him to continue designing future models. “He’s been able to deliver some great looking stuff to us,” Jon Rucker, vice president of winter sports at HEAD, said. “We’re really psyched.” Founded in 1950 and known for evolving the ways skis were developed, HEAD appears to be a perfect partner for Thomas. Local residents probably recognize his name from the bottom corner of some of the more iconic local posters. Released over the last decade, his Whitefish centennial series and Glacier National Park series are popular prints that blend classic art deco with a modern graphical scheme. The posters pay homage to, and draw inspiration from, the original screen print commercial art developed in the mid-1900s, like the Work Projects Administration posters. “That type of design is high impact design,” Thomas said. “That’s why these older posters still resonate today because they’re so classic and iconic.” “I enjoy that type of art because it does, to me, have a lot of impact,” he added. “It is visually arresting. It stops the viewer. That’s always going to be one of my first objectives with the work I create, is to really arrest the viewer so they do stop and look.” His life as an artist has followed an evolutionary cycle beginning with those early childhood sketches. He graduated from doodling to studying graphic design in college and spent years focusing his talents on brochures, ads and other commercial work. He continued working as a traditional graphic designer after moving to Whitefish in 1996 before focusing on more illustration-based artwork. “I want to create something that sticks around,” he said. “I want to create something that will have more mileage but also collectively can hopefully stand the test of time.” Thomas studied prints that inspired him, like those produced by the Work Projects Administration. He noticed how they all successfully and imaginatively depicted a place and moment frozen in time. His posters have the same aim, depicting a skier riding past snow ghosts on Big Mountain, or a couple strolling through downtown with mountains in the backdrop. “With these vintage pieces I’m trying to really authentically capture these snapshots of time where it’s a representation of a particular place, of possibly an event happening, a very particular period of time,” he said. He appears to have achieved his goal, both with his posters and now with skis. “He truly is talented,” Rucker said. “Through the years I’ve looked at his art, not just commercially but what he’s done personally, and it’s a very classic, bold style that really matches very well with our brand in terms of sort of embodying visually what we’re about. So it was a natural fit.” Rucker and Thomas became friends through skiing and have now known each other for almost 13 years. Thomas submitted his work along with other artist candidates and was selected by HEAD independent from his relationship with Rucker. “Pete’s stuff was really well liked by all the folks here,” Rucker said. “It was a very quick and easy decision to pull him in.” The match was a dream come true and “a perfect marriage of both my ski background and my design work,” Thomas said. Designing skis was far from an arbitrary process, Thomas said. In line with his own style, as well as HEAD’s, Thomas approached the skis with a similar mindset as he does a poster. “You literally need to stand in the boots of the person who is going to be skiing these skis and you have to imagine and understand what resonates with them,” he said. “What are their interests? What is the demographic? How do they make decisions? What compels them?” Thomas spent over six months designing the Peak series and last year he was able to finally try them out on the slopes. The moment was surreal, he said. “Every once in awhile I would look down and chuckle about it and pinch myself,” he said. Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Emaillast_img read more

What each top team needs to make the College Football Playoff

first_imgNo. 9 Michigan State (10-1)Path to the Playoff: Beat Penn State on Nov. 28 and Iowa in the Big Ten championship. Thanks to strong résumé builders in the form of wins vs. Oregon, Michigan and Ohio State, Michigan State has an extremely strong case if it can add the conference title.No. 10 Baylor (9-1)Path to the Playoff: Beat TCU on Nov. 27, have Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma the next day and beat Texas on Dec. 5. Baylor still lags in quality wins, but a Big 12 championship and a single loss on its record will at least make the selection committee think long and hard about the Bears.Baylor also needs Notre Dame to fall against Stanford, further opening the very limited Playoff lineup.No. 11 Stanford (9-2)Path to the Playoff: Beat Notre Dame on Nov. 27 and win the Pac-12 championship by beating USC or UCLA on Dec. 5.Stanford is the only team on this list with two losses, but staying in the Playoff chase means it has eliminated Notre Dame. At that point, the Cardinal would be in the running for the No. 4 seed with the Big 12’s best candidate. At that point Stanford’s credentials — seven quality wins, including one vs. Notre Dame and a three more vs. UCLA or USC plus a Pac-12 title — might be enough to supplant the Big 12 champ. Many games that are still to come this season will shape the College Football Playoff, but Ohio State’s 17-14 loss Saturday will have potentially long-reaching effects.As we enter Thanksgiving week and the final games of the regular season, we examine the Playoff outlook for a dozen teams in the committee’s most recent rankings:No. 1 Clemson (11-0)Path to the Playoff: Beat South Carolina on Nov. 28 and then North Carolina in the ACC championship Dec. 5 to close out the regular season. Do that, and Clemson will be no worse than the No. 2 seed in the Playoff. .oembed-asset-link { background: #fff; border-bottom: 1px solid #e1e1e1; }.oembed-link-anchor { display: block; clear: both; }.oembed-link-thumbnail{ float: left; padding: 14px; }.oembed-link-thumbnail img { max-width: 78px; max-height: 60px; display: block; }p.oembed-link-title { font-size: 75%; color: #009BFF; margin: 0 14px; padding-top: 12px; font-weight:normal; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }p.oembed-link-desc { font-size: 100%; color: #666; font-weight: normal; margin: 0 14px 14px 14px; font-family: ‘Futura Today Light’; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; } If the committee stays true to its word about starting over and evaluating teams on the entirety of their body of work, it’s possible Clemson could make the top four even with a loss in its final game. For example, how could the committee take a one-loss Notre Dame team over a one-loss Clemson team when the Tigers own the head-to-head matchup.No. 2 Alabama (10-1)Path to the Playoff: Beat Auburn Nov. 28 in the Iron Bowl and then Florida in the Dec. 5 SEC championship. Though a number of Alabama’s opponents — Wisconsin, Mississippi, Texas A&M and LSU to name four — seemed to fade after facing the Tide, all but one of their eight wins vs. FBS opponents are what the committee considers a quality win.That strength of schedule has impressed the committee and seemingly locks the Tide into one of the four seeds if it wins out. But a loss to Auburn or Florida, coupled with its home loss to Ole Miss, would knock out Alabama altogether.No. 3 Ohio State (10-1)Path to the Playoff: Beat Michigan Nov. 28 and have Penn State knock off Michigan State the same day. Ohio State can’t make the Big Ten championship game vs. Iowa without those two things happening. A win in Bedlam vs. Oklahoma State would give the Sooners the head to head advantage on the Big 12’s other title contenders. But a loss would eliminate them from Playoff contention altogether.No. 8 Florida (10-1)Path to the Playoff: Beat Florida State on Nov. 28 and Alabama in the SEC championship. A loss in either game would eliminate Florida, which struggles in the eye test but does have wins vs. Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia.Follow the road to the 2015 College Football Playoff at The Football Four, our home to rate and debate the nation’s best. USA TODAYFour reasons Ohio State doesn’t look like a repeat national champ USA TODAYCollege football’s Week 12 winners and losers .oembed-asset-link { background: #fff; border-bottom: 1px solid #e1e1e1; }.oembed-link-anchor { display: block; clear: both; }.oembed-link-thumbnail{ float: left; padding: 14px; }.oembed-link-thumbnail img { max-width: 78px; max-height: 60px; display: block; }p.oembed-link-title { font-size: 75%; color: #009BFF; margin: 0 14px; padding-top: 12px; font-weight:normal; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }p.oembed-link-desc { font-size: 100%; color: #666; font-weight: normal; margin: 0 14px 14px 14px; font-family: ‘Futura Today Light’; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }center_img USA TODAYMcCaffrey helps No. 15 Stanford run past California, clinch Pac-12 title game berth .oembed-asset-link { background: #fff; border-bottom: 1px solid #e1e1e1; }.oembed-link-anchor { display: block; clear: both; }.oembed-link-thumbnail{ float: left; padding: 14px; }.oembed-link-thumbnail img { max-width: 78px; max-height: 60px; display: block; }p.oembed-link-title { font-size: 75%; color: #009BFF; margin: 0 14px; padding-top: 12px; font-weight:normal; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }p.oembed-link-desc { font-size: 100%; color: #666; font-weight: normal; margin: 0 14px 14px 14px; font-family: ‘Futura Today Light’; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; } .oembed-asset-link { background: #fff; border-bottom: 1px solid #e1e1e1; }.oembed-link-anchor { display: block; clear: both; }.oembed-link-thumbnail{ float: left; padding: 14px; }.oembed-link-thumbnail img { max-width: 78px; max-height: 60px; display: block; }p.oembed-link-title { font-size: 75%; color: #009BFF; margin: 0 14px; padding-top: 12px; font-weight:normal; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; }p.oembed-link-desc { font-size: 100%; color: #666; font-weight: normal; margin: 0 14px 14px 14px; font-family: ‘Futura Today Light’; text-align: left; line-height: 120%; } If those two things did happen and the Buckeyes beat Iowa in the league title game, they would be in good position to return to the Playoff as the event’s No. 4 seed for the second consecutive year. But Ohio State can’t make that game without a win against Michigan and a Michigan State loss.No. 4 Notre Dame (10-1)Path to the Playoff: Beat Stanford on Nov. 28. A loss by Oklahoma, perhaps its greatest competition from the Big 12, also would not hurt.The Irish struggled to score on the No. 1 defense in the FBS on Saturday, but they won their sixth consecutive game. Continued wins by Clemson, Navy and Temple also helped, and a USC win Saturday to capture the Pac-12 South would further help Notre Dame’s strength of schedule.No. 5 Iowa (11-0)Path to the Playoff: Beat Nebraska on Nov. 27 and win the Big Ten championship. This finish would seem to guarantee Iowa a spot in the Playoff, because Iowa could add a victory against another highly ranked Playoff top 25 team with wins against Pittsburgh, Wisconsin and Northwestern.A loss in either game would likely leave the Hawkeyes on the outside looking in.No. 6 Oklahoma State (10-1)Path to the Playoff: Beat Oklahoma on Nov. 28 and have TCU or Texas beat Baylor, thereby giving Oklahoma State the Big 12 championship. But that might not be enough. They also might need Stanford to beat Notre Dame.Saturday’s loss to Baylor severely damaged the Cowboys’ Playoff prospects, but a New Year’s Six bowl is very much in the picture.No. 7 Oklahoma (10-1)Path to the Playoff: Beat Oklahoma State on Nov. 28 to capture the Big 12 championship and ideally see Stanford beat Notre Dame. Should Notre Dame win at Stanford, the committee will have a touch choice. Both Oklahoma and Notre Dame are idle on championship weekend. USA TODAYSnap judgments from Week 12 of college football No. 17 North Carolina (10-1)Path to the Playoff: Beat North Carolina State on Nov. 28 and beat an undefeated Clemson team in the ACC championship.Even with that, the Tar Heels might need Notre Dame to lose to Stanford, Oklahoma to lose Bedlam, TCU to beat Baylor and Stanford to lose the Pac-12 championship. That’s because two of North Carolina’s wins came against FCS opponents, and the Tar Heels also have a loss against a team that fell to The Citadel (South Carolina) on Saturday.HOW THE TOP 25 FARED IN WEEK 12last_img read more