Earlier in 2023 we began our search for an artist to create the signature artwork for this year’s Banff Mountain Festival.
We were overwhelmed with amazing, creative submissions, and it was a difficult task to select a winner.
It was Laura Nitzsche who ultimately stood out, with her passion for the bond between art, nature, music, and mountain sports.
We caught up with Laura to hear more about her background, her creative process, and the inspirations behind the new Banff design.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where your journey as an artist began?
My name is Laura Nitzsche, I’m an artist from Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina.
My bond with art has been very strong since I was small. The drawings of my childhood never stopped, and ended up taking a very important place in my life. It’s what gives sense to all the things I love and brings them together.
My house was a place full of art, music and photography surrounded by amazing mountains that always invite exploration. Eventually I went to study Visual Arts in the city, coming back with a bunch of knowledge to reconnect with the nature of Patagonia through art.
What was your initial reaction when you found out you were the selected artist?
I was travelling at the time, so it took me a while to find out that I was the selected artist for Banff Film and Book Festival. It felt like a dream I couldn’t believe. I was so excited to have the opportunity to share a bit of Patagonia with the world and connect with this community of mountain people.
Can you walk us through your creative process when starting a new project?
First of all I think about the purpose of the project, who is going to see it, what it’s going to be used for and what I want to communicate. A large part of the creative process involves finding inspiration and developing the idea in my mind.
Then it’s time to get the idea to paper, usually in pencil sketches, turning it into a big format draft and finally working the piece on the computer. I always carry a sketchbook in my backpack to capture ideas and landscapes.
If you could travel anywhere to draw inspiration from your surroundings, where would it be and why?
I would love to go to Antarctica to draw. It’s a very magical place where nature dominates, the landscape and animals are completely different from the rest of the world, and I also find it very curious the way humanity bonds with nature on that continent.
Can you share some of the inspiration behind the Banff design?
My love for the mountains, and ways to connect with them through sport, is the inspiration for the Banff design. The landscape could be anywhere in the world, although there is a small homage to my homeland: the magical Condor de Los Andes, a gigantic bird that lives in the high mountains.
Dream scenario, where do you want to be in 20 years?
I don’t have a clue where I want to be in 20 years, life lately has been giving me a lot of incredible surprises and opportunities and it’s beautiful to be open to whatever will happen next! What I know for sure is that I want to be in the mountains sharing art.
Words by | Laura Nitzsche
Words & images by | Athlete Name