CREATIVE PEAKS: Poignant Pow

By on December 20, 2016

Bryan Iguchi ascends to new heights with his first solo show, and snowboard luminaries discuss their craft.

See new work from Bryan Iguchi, left, at Asymbol during an opening reception Wednesday, December 21. Keep the shred vibe going the following Wednesday, December 28, when a panel of snowboard luminaries discuss their snow-inspired paths.

See new work from Bryan Iguchi, left, at Asymbol during an opening reception Wednesday, December 21. Keep the shred vibe going the following Wednesday, December 28, when a panel of snowboard luminaries discuss their snow-inspired paths.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – Paint explodes across a wood panel while the voluptuous curve of mountaintop emerges from the spray. This arresting image, “Tis-sa-ack,” is one of several new paintings by legendary snowboarder and Wilson resident Bryan Iguchi, whose exhibit of new work opens tonight at Asymbol. Iguchi also happens to be the cover artist for this year’s Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine. His sleek spray painted work, “The Cathedral Group,” is a striking piece adorning the cover.

“This is the first show in our new space,” said Josi Stephens, Asymbol’s social media manager. Asymbol moved to Scott Lane in August, marking a shift from its previous pristine gallery space on Broadway to a more informal space that harkens back to the roots of this iconic board sports art company. The inner workings of the print shop are on display as well as the gallery of art.

The show is Iguchi’s first solo exhibition, a fitting celebration of the new space.

“Bryan has been an artist with Asymbol from the beginning,” Stephens said. “He is family to us and the mutual support has fostered growth and longevity in both him and our company.”

The dozen or so paintings signal a new depth of exploration of the artist’s fascination with mountain imagery and, similar to pro-snowboarder Travis Rice, Iguchi’s obsession with hydrology. The show’s subtitle, “scratching the surface of time and space,” speaks volumes about Iguchi’s latest preoccupation.

Using wood paneling, spray paint, acrylic, pen, fire and resin, Iguchi’s new work delves into cycles of erosion. He uses a traditional Japanese wood-burning technique in a nod to his Japanese-American heritage. The forms highlighted by the burning could be clouds or waves or billowy snow, a deliberate subtlety by the artist.

“Bryan has become really fascinated with the concept of erosion,” explained Asymbol co-owner Alex Hillinger. “How water strips away surfaces of mountains, but that water carries minerals out into the ocean and living things feed on those minerals. It’s part of the big picture for him of the cycle of life.”

Iguchi has long worked with elements of hydrology, exploring the connections between the different forms of water that he surfs and boards, from ocean waves and river rapids to snow cloaked peaks. His new work takes that inquiry deeper. Iguchi plays with the heavy solid lines of mountains and the ethereal spray of snow and water.

“The Cathedral Group,” like “Tis-sa-ack,” is painted on board, echoing the artist’s favorite mode of play and transport. The iconic Teton Cathedral Group is rendered using spray paint and stencil in black and white. The mountain shadows speak of perhaps a new day dawning high in the peaks, or maybe of the unpredictable ancient power of granite. Iguchi’s spray paint sensibilities dot the surrounding atmosphere like colorful constellations in a night sky. It’s a piece with weight and light, respectful of its subject.

In addition to exploring new techniques and media, Iguchi’s style has evolved over the past several years as he became a family man and endured inner transformations.

“Bryan’s personal evolution is that he went from being that classic pro-snowboarder, where it’s all about yourself, to being a father and seeing his role as someone who needs to understand bigger things about the world,” Hillinger said. “His work reflects his recognition that it’s not just about him anymore; it’s about his family too and how he wants their lives to be.”

Iguchi and his family will attend the reception, as will Asymbol co-founder/owner Travis Rice.

Stephens says Iguchi’s longevity in the snowboard industry is testament to the dedication he pours into each arena of his life.

“He is a peaceful man with a subtle fire inside and that truth is intertwined with everything that he does. He’s one of our most cherished artists, mainly due to his collaborative and inquisitive way of existing.” — Meg Daly

Opening reception for “The Art of Erosion” 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 21 at Asymbol, 150 Scott Lane, Suite E. asymbol.co

Secrets of the Shred

Jackson Hole’s royal snowboard family comes together Wednesday, December 28 to dig into their craft for young and old riders alike during SHREDtalk.

When the snow’s flying, it’s no easy feat to assemble the following group in one room: Travis Rice, Rob Kingwill, Mark Carter, Lance Pitman, Alex Yoder, Mikey Franco, Halina Boyd, Cam FitzPatrick, Willie McMillon, Blake Paul (and the list goes on, including Hana Beaman who is making a special trip to Jackson for the event). But the folks at Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club were able to wrangle this panel of athletes who each stand at a different milestone in their shred trajectory.

Jeff Moran, JHSC’s advancement director, organized the talk with help from “The Grasshopper Fund,” an annual gift from an anonymous donor focused on JHSC’s education, scholarships and equipment. “This SHREDtalk is part of the educational component,” Moran said. “It’s a way for us to create a series of videos with tips from pro-snowboarders about how they ride, what they ride and how they got to where they are today.”

The panelists are all based in Jackson Hole or have strong ties to the community and JHSC. “Every snowboarder on the panel is connected to the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club as an alumni, donor, coach, partner and/or sponsor,” Moran said. Indeed, JHSC alumni like Travis Rice and his protégé Cam FitzPatrick are potent evidence of the organization’s ability to help mold some of snowboarding’s most gifted and passionate riders.

Moran also wanted to present a mix of athletes—those who are in different places in their snowboarding careers, and those who have used snowboarding as a vehicle to pursue other ventures. Panelist Mikey Franco is a backcountry guide and an instructor trainer who builds custom snowboards under his company Franco Snowshapes. Then there are renegades like JHSC’s head snowboard coach Lance Pitman. “He is one of the first people to really put Jackson Hole on the map in the snowboard world,” Moran said. Halina Boyd is a strong representation and inspiration for female riders. A Jones Snowboards team rider, Boyd is also involved in activism efforts. She is an ambassador to the Winter Wildlands Alliance, a nonprofit centered on exploration and conservation.

Panelists will discuss everything from stance and different board types to sponsorship and personal tips. The videos made from this session will be accessible on the web through JHSC and Rob Kingwill’s online vault of ShredX talks, snow focused discussions he has hosted during the Jackson Hole PowWow.

“The videos will act as a reference for young athletes for years to come,” Moran said. — Robyn Vincent

SHREDtalk, doors at 5:30 p.m., autograph signing 5:45 to 6:30 p.m.; talk at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, December 28 at Pink Garter Theatre. $9 pre-sale, $13 day-of-show. All proceeds to benefit JHSC. jhskiclub.org PJH

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