Is Nicole Linkowski the next James Niehues? Based on the trail map mural that she just made for her family, I think she might be. Vail Daily reports that Nicole recently completed the mural at her aunt and uncle’s residence at Lionshead in Vail, Colorado. Each one of the seventy-two members of her family got to create their own trail name. The fictional mountain is named Mt. Hammel, with its summit being 14,412 feet. Instead of creating a traditional family tree mural, Nicole explained to Tricia Swenson of Vail Daily why she chose to paint a trail map instead:
“We’re from Pennsylvania and we grew up skiing at Seven Springs, which is a tiny resort there, and it looks nothing like the one I created. The maximum elevation there is 2,994 feet. So, I wanted to create a statement mountain where you can almost imagine yourself at the bottom and not being able to see the top.”
In terms of the summit elevation of 14,412 feet, this is what inspired this specific number:
“That is a made-up elevation. The 412 is the area code in Pittsburgh and is very near and dear to my family’s hearts. There are 412 shirts, hats, and flags all over Pittsburgh, so I incorporated that into the ski resort mural.”
Nicole began painting at the age of ten and started commission work a few years later. She has since done portraits of Jerry Garcia, Bruce Springsteen, and Lady Gaga. She got the inspiration for her mural by studying various trail maps and skiing at Colorado’s many famous ski resorts. For the summit of Mt. Hammel, she modeled it from the major peak of Big Sky Resort: Lone Peak. If you’re interested in seeing more of her work, you can check out Nicole’s art shop here.