CREATIVE PEAKS: Cowboy State cool

By on July 21, 2015

T. Rice teamed up with artist to promote Wyo. flavors, now available for your wall 

Pro-rider Travis Rice and artist Tim Tomkinson collaborated on a design, now available as a poster print, invoking the essence of Wyoming. (Photo: Asymbol Gallery)

Pro-rider Travis Rice and artist Tim Tomkinson collaborated on a design, now available as a poster print, invoking the essence of Wyoming. (Photo: Asymbol Gallery)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming  It’s easy to forget there is more to Wyoming than the stunning Tetons, but snowboarder Travis Rice and artist Tim Tomkinson did not overlook the state’s varied sensibilities when charged with creating artwork to represent the Cowboy State.

When the Wyoming Travel and Tourism office asked Rice to work with an artist to commission a work promoting the state for his snowboard, Rice asked Tomkinson to collaborate and create the designs. He created three images, one featuring the state flag, another of an elk and a third modeled after a 1950s postcard featuring iconic Wyoming images from Devils Tower to Buffalo Bill to an erupting Yellowstone geyser.

Rice was photographed riding with the Wyoming promotion and there was even a contest for people to win a chance to spend a day on the mountain with him. Asymbol also showcased the snowboards and people kept asking if they could get a print of the postcard-like illustration. So the tourism office agreed Asymbol could release the “Wyoming” print to celebrate Wyoming’s 125th statehood anniversary.

Asymbol is selling 125 limited edition signed and numbered prints for $275 and unsigned, unnumbered prints for $35. The limited edition prints are 44 by 11 inches, while the open edition prints are 24 by 6.5 inches. Both prints are still available.

“There’s iconography that everybody relates to the state,” said Alex Hillinger, managing director of the gallery. “It’s a representation of everything within the state of Wyoming.”

The illustration is created in a style paying homage to the postcards of the 1950s, but with a modern touch, like UFO flying over Devils Tower.

“It’s a little tongue and cheek,” Hillinger said.

There are “little Easter eggs of humor,” if you look at the print closely, making it modern, classic and also funny, he explained.

Rice, a professional snowboarder, collaborated with Tomkinson to create the images. Tomkinson, who had never created artwork specifically for a snowboard before the project, works with traditional illustration methods like pencils and then works digitally on the artwork.

A Jackson Hole High School graduate, Tomkinson is a multi-disciplinary artist who specializes in illustration and branding. He attended Parsons School of Design in New York City and then returned to Jackson. He’s worked for clients such as Nike, Old Spice, Discovery Channel, The New Yorker, Outside Magazine, Rolling Stone and others.

Rice, a Jackson resident and professional snowboarder, started Asymbol Gallery in 2009 with artist/rider Mike Parillo.

“The tourism project was a natural fit for Travis,” Hillinger said. “Being born and raised in Jackson [he has] a huge sense of pride.”

From the beginning, the design was also meant to reflect Wyoming in its entirety, beyond Jackson Hole. That execution is likely why the print has been so popular.

“This is not just about Jackson,” Hillinger said. “It’s about the entire state of Wyoming.”

It’s the perfect tribute to the state’s history, with its historical, cultural and iconic images and a nod to the retro kitsch of old postcards.

The posters are available at Asymbol gallery and online at Asymbol.co. Visitor centers across the state will also promote the poster.

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