Artist Ya La’ford has a love for the mountains and exploration, and she’s hoping to give that opportunity to young people who might not have the chance to reach some of the most spectacular peaks. The reality is only 1.5% of skiers at resorts were Black, according to a 2021-22 survey by the National Ski Areas Association.

Can art help inspire change? Ya believes so. She partnered with Rossignol and Share Winter Foundation to expand diversity on the slopes.

The journey began with Rossignol holding a contest in the Bronx, Ya’s hometown. High school students submitted designs of their dream mountain, and Ya worked with the winning student, Andre Thomas, to create a set of limited edition skis. The best part is that 100 percent of the sales go to the Share Winter Foundation, a nonprofit set on getting 100,000 kids from diverse communities out on the slopes.

“Collaborating with an iconic brand like Rossignol while inspiring the imaginations of students from my hometown in the Bronx makes this a one-of-a-kind experience that we were able to channel into the ski design,” artist Ya La’ford said. “Much like the power of art, the mountains elevate us from our daily existence with the reminder that freedom and beauty are all around us when we pause and breathe it in.”

Ya is a renowned contemporary artist whose works can be found in the permanent collections of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Vinik Family Foundation, and Nike. Ya’s great-grandfather John Dunkley, spotlighted by the New York Times, was one of the most famous Jamaican artists. As a first-generation American, Ya is proud to carry on her family’s tradition of using art to elevate others.