Five years ago professional snowboarder Travis Rice and artist Mike Parillo came up with a concept: to create a community that combines a love of snowboarding, art, and adventure, all fueled by a collection of inspiring individuals. That concept was Asymbol – a brand and a collective; an aggregator of style and connoisseur of ideas. At launch, this stage was only a digital platform, Asybmolgallery.com. On July 31, 2014, Asymbol turned a corner in opening a spiritual home via new gallery space in the heart of Jackson Hole.
Rice and now co-owner Alex Hillinger have worked diligently the last six months to break ground on Asymbol’s gallery space to move the boutique brand from a virtual presence to tangible reality. Both were on-hand to celebrate the occasion and spoke about the intentions and the future of Jackson’s latest venue for all things epic.
“We really wanted a space that could showcase our art and projects with a the capacity to hold our production facility because it’s critically important for us to have production and manufacturing integrated on-site,” said Hillinger, who runs the day-to-day operations of the Asymbol business.
Part of that business strategy aimed to align the gallery space with a thriving retail environment while simultaneously optimizing overhead. Hence Rice and Hillinger partnered with Jackson Treehouse, a locally-owned snowboard shop which has run a location in Teton Village for years.
“We found a space we loved but it was too big for just our needs,” Hillinger added.
Partnering with Jackson Treehouse made sense in complimentary ways. Customers can relate to both sides of the aisle, finding snowboarding products on the shelf of Jackson Treehouse and inspiration on the walls of Asymbol.
“The two spaces are separated by a partition wall that is an oversize barn door that we slide out of the way during the day so people can wander from the gallery to the shop and back. That helped make the connection between the art gallery and the lifestyle aspect of a shop with more traditional brands and products.”
For Rice the goal for Asymbol was always clear.
“I think for us opening a physical location has always been part of the game plan. The last 4-5 years we’ve been focused on keeping the body of work that Asymbol represents authentic and constant. We started out as an online entity as well as curating and running traveling shows but we’ve always known that you can never replace the experience of being in front of this imagery in person vs. viewing it online.”
To that end Asymbol plans to roll out art openings, product launches and community gathering events to enable fans to connect in a more integrated fashion.
“In my mind the reason to do a gallery was to create an avenue to have real world experiences with special events and project releases that then becomes a venue for storytelling that we can share with our fans around the world.”
When asked of long-term goals Rice offered aspirations without spoilers about the vision.
“We’ve got an amazing roster of people that continue to create and share so our goal is to continue to support them and grow together with them. Having the physical space will help us leverage our relationships and be a platform to continue toward our dreams and big plans.”