Personalities: Travis Rice & The Asymbol Gallery

Comments by Tawnya Schultz/

If there's one name in snowboarding that's synonymous with badass, it's Travis Rice. Soaring in a class by himself and possibly living on another planet completely, T Rice continues to break the boundaries of modern day snowboarding. There is nothing that isn't possible with this guy.

Last weekend, we linked up with Rice in his hometown of Jackson Hole, Wyoming to check out his and Mike Parillo's gallery and printing facility, Asymbol. And, of course, to grind him about the highly anticipated release of Brain Farm Cinema's "The Art of Flight."

Asymbol launched just over a year ago now, fueled by an idea Rice and Parillo came up with. There was no backlog of epic shots throughout the history of snowboarding. Well, in one place anyway. So they decided to gather these images from photographers who they were already friends with and start a website where potential buyers could go and interact with different framing and printing options and purchase for their own enjoyment.

After investing in equipment and office space, Rice and Parillo opened Asymbol in Jackson (homebase for both of them) and built the business. "It's been an interesting year," says Parillo. "We didn't really exactly know what we were doing, but we figured it out and Asymbol has been slowly building momentum." Parillo is an incredible painter and has designed Travis' pro model equipment for several years, including next year's Quiksilver outerwear and Lib Tech board. Many of Parillo's prints are available on the site as well. Prints from the gallery have traveled around the US to create awareness of the project. Rice and Parillo were planning for their show this week at Milk Studios in New York while we were there. Travis showed us the blueprint of the setup and what pieces would be a part of it.

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Travis showing us the blueprints for the show at Milk Studios | Photo: Jonathan Glass

Asymbol is a labor of love for the guys, but the setup has become a practical paint studio for Parillo and a place for visitors to come by, wander the upstairs gallery and see what it's all about. Asymbol offers a variety of printing options including a super rad laser light technique similar to the old dodge and burn process in original lightrooms. Emitting different strengths of light onto a special paper gives each photograph a super clear image that makes you feel like you are there.

Parillo has also been working on transferring paintings, like one's from Jamie Lynn, on to newspaper type stock, lending a real texture to the prints. When asked about what the next step is they both agree that offering something for everybody is key. They've slowly been gathering more skate and surf images, as well as paintings, lifestyles and landscapes. Travis gave us a sneak peek of some new photos dropping in the fall as part of a "Art of Flight" exhibit when the movie comes out. A photo of him doing a pow slash in AK last season that Scott Serfas took is one of his favorite so far. The photo combines the artistry of Serfas and energy of Travis, set amongst a stunning backdrop. 

Travis has been filming in Jackson for the past few weeks since the season and conditions have been amazing so far. Lando, John J, Carter, Lago and Luebke are just a few on the "Art of Flight" roster. We were able to get a peek of the teaser and if anyone questioned how Brain Farm will be able to top "That's It, That's All", the three minutes witnessed were absolutely captivating and next level…once again.

_travis_rice_asymbol-10.jpgWhile Travis sits in his wood chiseled kings chair that sits at the entrance of Asymbol, he talks about Lago, who ended up with a broken jaw last week while filming.

Lago apparently went huge off of an already massive booter the crew had built and knee'd himself in the face, ending up with his mouth wired shut in order to heal.

"It really sucks," said Travis. "He had sled 20 miles out of the  backcountry while getting bounced around on the ground. At least he got a banger shot before that on the jump though."

In talking more about "Flight" Travis says how good it's been to be in Jackson and get a lot done there, but also mentions an amazing trip to AK last winter with John J, that you're sure to see in the film. As far as where they're still set to go this year Travis said "Our schedule is still up in the air since it depends on the conditions. We thought about going to Europe, but Jackson is so good and we keep hearing it's not that great there so why would we leave?" Travis also mentions full white camo snowboard outfits (think "Inception" style) he got made for the Brain Farm Crew that they've been wearing around all James Bond-esque. The outfits even come with a Brain Farm patch on the arm.

As Travis' mind wanders somewhere else, him and Parillo get into a conversation and somehow get on the subject of Travis becoming mayor. "You should be mayor of Jackson one day," said Parillo. "You know, I've thought about it. I just don't know if I could stay here the entire year. I need to get to the beach and ride waves in the summer." Ask most Jackson locals and they would say Travis is already their mayor, representing the community by being a badass across the world and making decisions to improve the economy, by starting local businesses. In the next instant Parillo's mind wanders to the thought of being able to make and ride powder whenever they want to. "There has to be a way. Think about it. We need to figure this out." "I've already thought about it," said Travis as he goes into some rant about the science of it all, snowdomes and the possibility of actually making it a reality. In these interactions two things come into realization: 1. The back and forth bouncing of ideas between Travis and Parillo is the reason why they are so creative together. 2. Travis's mind and thought process works unlike most, and that's probably the reason why he's on such another planet than everyone else.

Stay tuned for updates on the "Art of Flight" and peep The Asymbol gallery online or in Jackson if you get the chance to cruise through. Support the homes and buy some amazing pieces.