Many months ago in a land far, far way....
The first leg of the Wandering Eyes journey started some months ago in a windowless room in the back of a Jackson Wyoming gallery. What started as a “what if”..."that’d be cool” conversation now has me sitting on what is probably only one size above a bush plane for the second time in as many months. What is it about flying coach that makes even the coolest cat feel like a gorilla in a clown car? But the juice is worth the squeeze. Especially when the journey is this much fun. But I digress. The real story is in the details, the moments and people that make this endeavor so incredibly interesting.
Asymbol has always been a company that sees the world as it’s playing field. It was imagined and made real by people who have seen so many things and done so much. Yet somehow the Wandering Eyes project has felt like a leap into the blind abyss. We brought in two new artists (Peter ‘Ten Hundred’ Robinson and Corienne ‘iuna Tinta’ Weidmann) and curated a show that put them side by side with marquee Asymbol artists Matt French, Corey Smith, Adam Haynes, Mike Parillo and Jamie Lynn.
There was no real way of knowing how it would come off. So when I hopped on a plane and made my way to Seattle I had no idea what to expect. Thanks to the insanely accommodating and enthusiastic crew at evo, led by the forever helpful and kind Chris Shalbot, the Seattle show was a raging success. The cavernous building was packed to bursting by 7pm while Alex Hilinger manned the gallery I talked story with folks at the merch table. To see so much hard work on everyone’s behalf come to such a rocking fruition is the fuel that keeps this thing moving. It is also worth mentioning that during the set up Jamie Lynn showed up with a stack of paintings and drop cloths on is head. In that stack was the original Beauty and the Beast and Blue Girl. Seeing the generously curved lines and oversaturated hues sent shivers through every one that walked in the door. If you aren’t moved by moments like this you might be dead. When all was said and done I left Seattle feeling like the community we have been trying to reach was getting the message.
And after a short regroup in the homeland we are on the road back to the Pacific Northwest, Ashley Rice by car and me by bush plane.
Despite being cramped and uncomfortably upright I am so stoked for this next chapter. Portland is my home zone and a town that always opens its arms to the new and adventurous. It is also the home of one of our original artists and contributor to the show, Corey Smith. Corey has always been a thought leader in the snowboard world, there is nothing linear or predictable about what he creates or how he creates it. I met him in person for the first time at the Seattle show and was immediately drawn in to his intellect and no bullshit vibe. Smith will be front and center at the Portland show along side Adam Haynes and Matt French. Both French and Haynes created originals just for Wandering Eyes, two pieces that solidify and compliment what Asymbol is about. In a few minutes, god willing, this plane will land at PDX. I will take the required photo of the carpet there and get down to evo to help my cohort hang the second leg of Wandering Eyes. Excitement level: High.
We hit the ground running, all hoped up on the warm city air. Naturally Chris Shalbot was already on scene ready to patiently tolerate our "1/2 and inch to the left...no, to the right, wait..up a little..". After a few hours of work we retired to a little spot called Teote and made quick work of their delicious margaritas. Thus beginning a proper Wyoming hello. Let it suffice to say that 2am came a little too quickly, as did the alarm clock.
Seeing the work in a different way is awesome! The space is so unlike the Seattle shop that it feels like a whole new line-up. Apparently the building is 125 years old which explains why everything tilts.
Nobody does a lady like Jamie Lynn.
And with so many small details needing attention I sign off. See you at the show!
3/28 The morning after.
What a night! So many friends, old and new. So many amazing moments. There are the times in life that show you blatantly that things are being done right and this was one of them.
Adam Haynes and his lovely family showed up, Matt French sat in the corner drawing inadvertently keeping the children occupied, beer flowed and fun was had. It is a wonderful to look out into a sea of faces and feel the love and kinship that our community shares. Though the two shows were different in many ways one thing remained the same, the appreciation of what these artists created had every one there feeling damn good. Being a part of such a momentous show has been an honor and a true experience. I can't wait for the next chapter.
Until next time Portland! You foxy little minx!
(If you didn't get a chance to check the show out it will be in evo for a few weeks along with some epic merch. Prints and originals are for sale on the website of course. Hit us up with any queries. We stay up late.)