Dirksen Derby 10 came and went in a flash. Although I narrowly missed race qualifications, I proudly took home a 2nd Place Derby trophy for my broken board art. Always stoked to be part of this snowboarding family reunion. Thanks to Josh and all involved for another great year.
Friday, January 6, 2017 at 6 PM - 9 PM
200 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, Oregon 97214
Earth, Air, Fire, Water: The four elements of nature. Each plays a critical role in our ability to enjoy healthy lifestyles and to connect with the outdoors. Yet each year, our forests get smaller, our water more polluted, our salmon less abundant, our air less pure. We wonder why our hills are less snowy, our highways and beaches more crowded, and forest fires rage out of control. As our planet continues to warm and fill, many of us remain unsure about what we can do to help protect what’s left of our old-growth forests and our native plants and animals, and to preserve our quality of life.
Local Pacific Northwest artists Lori LaBissoniere, Janessa Bork, and Jo Lundberg teamed up to share their interpretation of the elements in various states of need. As the three share a love of snowboarding and connecting with nature, they created these works of art to inspire an awakening. Many of us spend every spare moment playing outdoors, yet little time thinking about the fragility of the glaciers, the woods, the atmosphere, and the water we need to make our adventures possible. Yet we can no longer ignore what is happening. It’s time, now more than ever, to be active and aware. The essential element behind saving our Earth is hope.
With the help of volunteers like you, organizations like The Sierra Club protect millions of acres of wilderness and help pass legislation like the Water, Clean Air and Endangered Species Act. Ten percent of all art sales from this show will go directly to Sierra Club Oregon Chapter, so if you buy a print or an original piece, you will already be making a difference.
Thank you for supporting our show. We hope you leave concerned yet inspired to do your part for nature—She needs us.
words by Daniel V. O'Neil
We arrived in Jackson, Wyoming, with no other notion of the place than its nobility in the ranks of ski resorts: very steep, massive, and vast. Besides snowboarding for three days, we had little idea of what we’d see or do. Asymbol Gallery, at the center of where art and snowboarding meet, lay somewhere in tiny Jackson. Then there’d be all the touristy Western bars and shops to check out, and some of Grand Teton National Park. Why over-plan such a short trip?
Travel that depends on weather phenomena like fresh snow or good waves eludes anything but short-term preparation anyway. April had arrived, and, as nature would have it, we got spring conditions. Sunny and warm, cloudy and warm. Didn’t matter. A proper lack of expectations led us to enjoy Jackson Hole as much as a snowboarder can. About 95% of the people here ski, and the moguls are epic in a bad way, but we found surfy terrain like a double-overhead natural halfpipe, and the real halfpipe, and slashed away. Plenty of speed despite the melting snow: JH is steep, as our mid-slope burning legs reminded us.
You could die a thousand deaths on this mountain.
Turned out this was closing weekend for the ski resort. The locals celebrated Gaper Day, which lasted through the weekend: Costumes, alcohol, posses, and more booze. We joined right in. A country band played in the ski village, and back at the car we drank the local lager in a dirt parking lot surrounded by wood-fence corrals. Wyoming is our kind of place.
We found Asymbol closed for the week, a great disappointment for Lori. But the large windows let us see the art and snowboards on display, and it was rad. Unsure of where to go next, we headed down a side street and passed by, rare to find these days, a snowboard shop. The Boardroom is Wyoming’s original, and owner Lauri Aittola does all he can to “avoid becoming a dinosaur.” One half of the floor space is his, while the other half belongs to Aion, a clothing company which they design in the back room, for production in Bali.
People were standing around in the back corner of The Boardroom, sipping beer, the way it should be. Lauri offered cans of lager, we obliged, and the snowboard shop worked its magic: We learned that the premiere of Close to Home, a local snowboard movie, started in an hour, with party and all. WYPY (Wyoming Pythons), a crew of rippers including Alex Yoder, traveled to ski hills and resorts across their native state last spring, and made a documentary of their road trip. It kicked ass, reminding us of how fun travel and snowboarding with friends can be. The beers continued to go down, late into the night.
We didn’t get up early on Sunday.
It took endless walking to find a breakfast spot open in Jackson Hole village. The bloody mary’s only made us more tired, but the local energy pricked us up on the tram. Their last day of the season: everybody was hungover but jazzed. Another day of riding complete, we called it early, before ending up at a fine little wine bar in Jackson. Might as well indulge in a taste of Jackson’s upscale side, briefly. Our original plan had us riding on this third day, but the lifts turned no more. Our legs hurt anyway, and the weather turned to low clouds and drizzle. Almost everywhere in town—breakfast spots, souvenir shops, even the dang Million Dollar Cowboy Bar—was shut for a break before the dreaded summer tourism season (three to four million visitors, we heard).
Frustrated with civilization, we drove north to Grand Teton National Park. Only three miles of road had been cleared of snow. But the sense of openness and solace, and the mood of the clouds in the brooding Tetons, impressed us indelibly like oil paint or ink. We were now ready to leave, although we didn’t want to go.
Mt. Baker & the Legendary Banked Slalom, 2016.
A legendary weekend under rainbows and moonlight..
This was my first year to experience the Smash Life Banked Slalom at Alpental, WA. It had been years since I rode here, but it was just as I remembered, steep and deep. As registration was full, I was unable to compete, but as the snow kept dumping, and I was able to ride the radical course a few times, I was far from disappointed. I was happy to cheer on my friends Janessa Bork and Jacqui Shaffer, who were competing for a spot in the Mt Baker Legendary Banked Slalom, which was the prize awarded to the first place winners of the Open Men and Women's divisions. Narrowly missing her chance, Janessa placed 2nd, but we all walked away stoked just to be able to experience the event and honor a dear friend of the snowboard community, Aaron Robinson.
Aaron aka A-Rob, passed away while riding in Chile in 2011. While I never knew him, what I hear from my friends who did, is that he was a connector who brought people together and always shared his enthusiasm for the mountains with those around him. That camaraderie was definitely felt this weekend. Proceeds from the Smash Life events (there is also one at Big Sky, MT) go to A-Rob’s Plant A Seed Project, an organization that helps the connect the youth of A-rob's native Flathead Valley with the joy of shredding.
Events like this make me proud to be part of the snowboard community in the Pacific Northwest. It is a special, close-knit group of adrenaline junkies who all share a life-long passion and appreciation of the outdoors. I give thanks to all those who have been a part of my snow family thus far and for all that I am yet to meet and shred with. Long live the pow dream!
When did you first start making things?
I started drawing as soon as I learned how to hold a crayon. My fascination with portraiture began in the Catholic Church; my mom gave me paper and pencil (the only thing that got me to sit still and be quiet during mass) I would sit backwards using the pew as my desk and draw the faces behind me.
What inspires you to create?
Beauty and turmoil
People. They are just so interesting.
What helps you stay motivated?
Coffee, mate, going to art galleries and museums.
How do you keep balanced?
Surfing and yoga, my friends who tell me to relax, chilaquiles, and Moto rides.
How have you overcome fear/rejection to get where you are now?
Focusing on the process and..
Reading books by Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert about fear, vulnerability and the creative process taught me to place greater value on authenticity.
An Anais Nin quote:
And then the day came
When the risk
To remain tight
In a bud
Was more painful
Than the risk
What project or upcoming event are you most excited about right now?
I'm excited about my latest project, illustrating the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorder 5 to meld together my dual professional identities as art therapist/artist. I plan to submit this body of work to the American Art Therapy Association's Conference and to offer a printed version of the manual. I am also excited to be showing work at Providence Portland hospital featuring artwork created on live edge wood slabs. (work featured in photos 2 - 7 of this post)
Artists/Creators/Inventors that have helped shape your work?
Camille Rose Garcia
What are you most curious about at the moment?
Hahaha the DSM 5
I'm also curious about neuropsychology
Tunes that keep your in flow while creating?
I'm also a podcast junkie (this American life, the Ted radio hour, the moth, radio lab, reply all, on being, the Savage lovecast)
How has traveling helped form you?
Costa Rica- enjoying the simple and good in life: surf, sun, friends, nature, food and culture. Their motto, Pura Vida, is a relaxed, simple way of looking at life. No worries, no fuss, no stress—pura vida to them means being thankful for what they have and not dwelling on the negative.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
I'd head somewhere tropical where the waves are good and the boys are easy on the eyes!
But fo real- Norway??
9TH ANNUAL DIRKSEN DERBY
The Dirksen Derby has become an annual ritual for me to kick-off the snowboard season and reunite with friends for some fun and competition and this year, a few feet of fluffy powder!!!
The Derby is a one-of-a-kind event that includes a 'broken board' art auction/kick-off party, a snowboard rally race that consists of two 30 second banked slalom courses, a film-fest and a few dubious after-parties in downtown Bend. It is a truly special weekend that brings the snowboard, splitboard and sit-ski communities together for a hell of a good time. Josh Dirksen, a well-known pro-rider from Bend, hosts the event every year at Mt. Bachelor to raise money and stoke for Tyler Eklund, who was injured several years ago in a national snowboarding competition. The accident paralyzed Tyler from the shoulders down, leaving him wheelchair bound and causing him to use a ventilator to breathe, yet he has managed to live with soul and charisma ever since. Proceeds from the race, auction, film fest and Derby sale items are divided between the Tyler Eklund fund and Oregon Adaptive Sports.
This year, the stoke was high, with a winter snow storm in FULL effect. I was pretty stoked too, to qualify for the first time for finals! Though my head cold kicked my butt the day of the race, I was as proud as ever to be part of this event. Time spent with this group of talented artists and shredders is always a highlight of my year, and will be for many years to come.
Day 1 - practice & pow play
Kick-off Party/broken board art auction
Day 3 - Finals, Storm Riding & Hot Toddies
Thanks to Josh and Fabienne Dirksen, the Beaulieu's, and evo for sponsoring the best and biggest Derby yet and big thanks to Adam Haynes for another amazing Derby Poster creation!
Click here for official Derby race results.
What is a Mantra in a Bottle?
It's like a message in a bottle, but tinier and has a special mantra (a repeated word or phrase often used in meditation) inside to help bring good things your way! Everyone needs a mantra, so why not get one delivered to your door in a tiny bottle?
Get your Mantra in A Bottle here now!
Why is Meditation Important?
I do not claim to be an expert, as meditation is still an art that I am learning, but I do know this: meditation is a sure way to connect with your inner self and it is a great way gain clarity and de-stress. The quieter I become, the more I can hear is one of my favorite mantras.
Visit these awesome places to learn more...
Daily Cup of Yoga's article on Creative Meditation and find lots of great resources here.
Tiny Buddah for info on Mantras, Yoga and Meditation.
Marie Forleo's upbeat bit on 10 minute meditations and the power of mantras.
Have a favorite mantra? Share it in the Comments section below↓