The concept of tree roots being similar to what we humans create in life for ourselves is one I can surely relate to! Like a tree, my roots grow in to wherever it is I choose to plant myself and within whatever it is I choose to do.
Having grown up in Vancouver, Wa, and then living there until the age of 29, this is where many of my biggest roots lie. From family to friends, co-workers to schoolmates to Girl Scouts. I work to nurture these roots like water to a tree and am beyond thankful for this opportunity and time I've had to do that in person over the last couple weeks here in the PNW.
My four years in Indianapolis, IN has been spent growing my roots there. Between friendships, the art community and professional relationships, I work to maintain and nurture those roots just as I do with the rest of them.
It was through this process I realized I had been holding myself back when I was living in the comfort of my hometown. I hadn't pushed myself to share my art let alone connect with others through it, and I hadn't put much effort in to growing my roots beyond the comfort of my city, office building or tight nit group of friends.
This trip hasn't just allowed me to spend time watering the roots I've always had, it's given me the ability to grow those roots beyond. I spent the 8 months leading up to May working to connect more closely with the artists, galleries and businesses in the Portland Metro area and other West Coast cities in an effort to expand my roots and to also bring exposure to the amazing creative world that exists out here!! The world that inspired the artist I am today.
Honu Inc. is an award winning cannabis company located just north of my hometown in the city of Longview, WA. They were one of the FIRST pro-canna companies to share the artworks and products from my Smoking Lady series, continually showing their support for my movement through social media. It was important to me to stop by, drop off some stickers and show them some love in return. I also got to tour the entire facility and meet some of the crew who make it all happen! It's especially awesome to see the way cannabis has brought jobs to the area and to see the way they're changing the negative perceptions around recreational use. I especially hope to team up with them one day in some professional facet or another!
I was also able to arrange a visit with Portland maker Alex Simon of Make Good Choices! I've been following her for some time now and was especially stoked to have shared a toke with her out of one of her infamous Hitachi Pipes, which were featured in High Times Magazine!
One of the Tour stops on the trip was at Memento Ink in Springfield, OR, for a Pop-Up Painting Party & Shopping event. This was especially exciting for me as it was there I had my VERY FIRST art exhibit back in 2014, in their Gallery Hall. I had already moved on to Indiana by that time and wasn't quite ready to handle the shipping of originals, so they did a print exhibit for me instead! I would have loved to have been there in person but was so honored that they were willing to work with me being long-distant, giving me my first opportunity to exhibit! I HAD to have them on the tour and thoroughly enjoyed working with them again! I'll post more about the Painting Parties soon- subscribe to my blog for updates!
Not far from there is the studio of Oregon artist Shanna Trumbly. Her artworks are a magical world, it's impossible to pick a favorite. She's done some great poster art for one of Oregon's largest festivals and continually blows my mind with each piece she makes. Her studio and gallery are what dreams are made of!
The tour wraps up in the coming weeks with a Closing Reception Pop-Up event on May 25th as we shut down the installation currently up at Future Shock in Portland, OR. Click here for more details and join us there one last time before we go! This is the last event on the tour that I'll be at!
The LAST STOP on the tour is Angst Gallery in my hometown of Vancouver, WA. My artworks will be on exhibit there through the entire month of June with an Opening First Friday Art Walk event on June 1st! I'll already be headed back to Indiana by then so I won't be there in person but I still hope you stop by- click here for more details.
I can't wait to be a bigger part of this local art scene one day but until then, I'm beyond honored for the artists that have entertained my need to explore and connect while visiting. I'm especially honored to have the support of these businesses and galleries, too!
If you haven’t yet, subscribe to my website for updates including upcoming events near you!
For more pictures of my day to day tour adventures, check out my stories on Instagram!
I will do my best to continue keeping you updated, posting pictures and videos as often as time allows including all the painting parties I've been doing to help fund my day to day expenses on the road!! If you haven't yet, subscribe to my blog here for more updates!
Thanks always for reading!
Read more about the art tour in these past blog posts:
BLOG: I'm Reaching For The Stars This Year
BLOG: Aries Art Goes West
BLOG: Before we go...
BLOG: Off we go...
BLOG: No rest for the wicked.
BLOG: Best Coast Opening Reception