What: Seven Artistic Sins Exhibition/Party
When: Saturday, Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Blake Jorgensen Gallery, Westin Hotel
Ever found yourself sitting on the chairlift, staring at
topsheets and wondering where the design came from? Now, you have a chance to
learn more about the artistic inspiration behind one major ski brand.
Rossignol has organized the Seven Artistic Sins project,
enlisting the help of seven talented artists to design their line of twin tip
skis. The project encourages artists to get creative and try to extend and
apply their abilities to a different medium — skis — while
illustrating one of the seven deadly sins.
While none of the artists had designed products for the company
before, and were all new to the world of skiing, there are some big names
involved, including skateboard legends Steve Cabellero and Andy Howell.
Vancouver artist Andrew Pommier was just one of the artists
selected to design a pair of skis for the project. His assigned sin? Envy.
Pommier studied drawing and painting at the Ontario College of
Art and Design, and has been designing skateboard graphics for major labels
since 1998, but this was the first time he has applied his artistic style to a
pair of skis.
“The main challenge for me is creating something that will fit
the dimensions of the ski,” Pommier said in an e-mailed interview. “The next
challenge is to come up with something that will evoke the sin without being
too literal. I have to remind myself that I'm not doing an illustration of the
sin I'm making art that uses the sin as a starting point. And lately hitting
the deadline has been a challenge for me for some reason. I'm usually on point
with that stuff.”
Paddy Kaye, team manager for Rossignol, said the project came
about through a partnership the company has with Spacejunk gallery, based out
of France, and the concept was inspired by a similar surfboard project for
While the project is certainly about bringing artwork into the
realm of skiing, Kaye points out that another key aspect was showing that
skate, ski and snowboard culture are closely linked.
“So skateboard artists that were all of a sudden painting
surfboards had never really happened before, and it was sort of a no-brainer
for us,” he explained.
This actually isn’t the first year for Seven Artistic Sins
— in fact, if you made it to the Brave Art show during the Telus World
Ski and Snowboard Festival last year you probably noticed the skis mounted on
the walls, hanging alongside artist bios and copies of the original artwork.
“I think people are just really embracing change right now,”
said Kaye. “So anything that’s different catches people’s eyes.”
Rossignol actually launched the concept last year, at EvoGear
in Seattle, and so far, the products have been received very well,
commercially, with the fattest ski in the twin tip line, the S7, which
represents the sin of Gluttony, becoming the best-selling fat ski of all time
“It is a unique shape and style of ski, and it also has the
Steve Cabellero graphic, and it’s part of this whole Seven Artistic Sins, so
its just a lot of things coming together that are helping move this ski,” Kaye
explained. “In fact, it’s sold out everywhere.”
This time around, they’re launching this year’s project in
Whistler as a standalone show at the Blake Jorgensen Gallery.
“What we’re noticing, going into the second year working with
the same group of artists, is that they’re really embracing the project more
and more, and I think opening up their work and their name, exposing themselves
to a whole different market,” Kaye said.
Pommier definitely plans to see the project through to the end,
designing a ski for each of the seven sins.
“I was really excited to see what everyone else came up with
and wasn't disappointed,” he said. “It is going to be really great to see all
the skis at the end of this project when each artist has done each sin and to
see the progress each one of us has made skill-wise over seven years.”
The exhibit opens on Saturday evening, with reprints of all of the original artwork alongside each of the skis. The display is on for one month at the Blake Jorgensen Gallery.