CREATIVE PEAKS: Undying Legacy

By on April 13, 2016

Asymbol sews together snowboarding’s rebellious past and its vibrant future in ‘Legacy of Disruption.’

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Oftentimes we forget that the story has a beginning and a future, especially when we’re deeply immersed in the meaty parts of the middle. Asymbol’s “Legacy of Disruption” exhibit is the pulling back and observing of a story: the past, present and future of art in the snowboard industry.

The show is a long, loving look at the significance of that history. With the generous help of some diehard collectors and the archivist at Mervin Manufacturing (parent of Libtech and Gnu Snowboards), Asymbol amassed a collection of snowboards and graphics from every era of the sport. It’s a feat of wonder by any standards, especially when you consider how poorly snowboarders treat their equipment.  That, however, is the point; these boards aren’t meant to sit in a museum.  

A Snurfer (one of the first known boards) sits alongside the Craig Kelly Mystery board and the 1996 Terje Burton Balance. Every rider has that special deck. The one you remember many boards later; the one that sits battered and dusty in your garage. This show is for you.

Showing art alongside their respective boards was a no-brainer, Asymbol curates the art and photography of our culture, and they have the gallery space.

Strangely enough the idea wasn’t the flashing neon sign you might expect.

It was an, “Oh, yeah, we should totally do that” afterthought kind of thing that rose from a conundrum. While brainstorming about how to position their newest artist, Schoph Schophield, the gallery struggled with how to best share him with the Asymbol community.

Schoph is a snowboarder, designer and ruffian. The UK artist’s work is visceral and loaded with iconography, taking pages from the old school punk rock vibe ala Jamie Lynn, Bryan Iguchi and Mike Parillo, to name a few. Showing Schoph alongside established artists was the only real way to explain his place in the art world.

“I looked up to several artists on the bill with such reverence when I began snowboarding,” Schophield explained. “Now to exhibit with these artists from our culture and for them to become fellow peers, my Yorkshire tea cup is overflowing.”

Hands down, I found the most exciting part of curating this type of show is gathering the pieces and stories that surround them. Hunting down seminal boards like the Matt Cummins’ Kink or talking with Quincy Quigg, designer of Travis Rice’s first pro model only cemented our dedication to the job.

“As much as this show is meant to shine a light on some of the greatest snowboard art of the past, it’s the future of these artists that’s most exciting,” noted Asymbol co-owner Alex Hillinger. “Ultimately it’s a show about the spirit of creativity and camaraderie that are at the heart of snowboarding culture. Disruption of the status quo is an outcome of all this unbridled creativity.”

But it wasn’t the primary goal, Hillinger further explained. He was after freedom of expression.

Legacy was certainly one of the most enjoyable to hang and arrange, with so many styles and mediums in hand there was no place for rules. Now the typically neutral gallery space is a riot of color and content.

As luck had it, local pro snowboarder Rob Kingwill invited Asymbol to host a party for the Jackson Hole Pow Wow, a perfect audience for the exhibit and a grand way to introduce Schoph to more folks. After all was said and done everyone that attended had a deeper understanding of how the art of this community connects us not only to the board under our feet but to the source of joy that riding snow brings. PJH

 

Asymbol is open by appointment through the month of April, but you can spend time with Legacy of Disruption online at asymbol.co.


About Josi Stephens

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