Acclaimed Colorado ski trail painter James Niehues retires — but not before passing the torch
Ski map artist James Niehues recently announced his retirement from hand-painting ski trail maps. Niehues, who lives in Parker, Colorado, has painted more than 200 ski resort maps in multiple countries over his 30-year career.
But Niehues is passing the torch of his craft forward. Rad Smith, a Bozeman, Montana-based map illustrator and cartographer, has been studying under Niehues for six years. And now, as Niehues moves on to a new project painting American landscapes, Smith is continuing the work.
Niehues and Smith joined Colorado Edition from their respective studios in Parker and Bozeman to talk about retirement, the art of ski map painting and where the field is headed now.