Utah locals have found it hard not to be aware of the changes in climate seen in the past several winters. One of these people is local artist Lexi Dowdall. She grew up skiing the slopes of Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon and she has seen the changes in storms herself and said, “to some of the old veteran patrollers up at Snowbird and the nature of the storms are changing, the water content of the storms are changing. It’s something we need to pay attention to.“
Lexi wanted to help raise awareness for the climate change she sees in her community. She put down her ski poles and picked up a paintbrush. She goes out to the mountains and grabs snow that will later turn into the water she uses in paintings. Lexi said, “I usually try to grab snow from either the most iconic run at a ski area or maybe my personal favorite run or a memorable run.”
Her goal is to spark a bigger focus on the conversation around climate change. With her approach, Lexi says she can “connect people and reel them in by catching them with something they [already] care deeply about and forming that initial connection makes it so much easier to have a conversation.”
Jim Steenburgh, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the Univerity of Utah explains how climate change is affecting Utah winters. He is quoted in the Daily Utah Chronicle saying, “In the lower elevations of Utah, for example, say in the Salt Lake Valley, places like Mountain Dell, where people go cross-country skiing, and maybe like near the base of Park City, we’re starting to see, for example, a greater fraction of precipitation in the wintertime falling as rain instead of snow, so we’re starting to see how the early indicators of climate change having an impact on our snow climate,”
Lexi Dowdall describes being in the mountains as humbling and as something that helps you feel alive and because of that she hopes her art will spur people into taking action to preserve the beautiful snowy mountains of Utah.