Portland, OR – January 22, 2014 - While the outdoor industry celebrates innovation and inspiration this week at the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, KEEN, the original hybrid footwear company, has commissioned two artists to carve and create towering wooden sculptures across the street from the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. Using chainsaws and woodcarving tools, Northwest artists Matt Hambrook and Robert Tidwell will work each day of the Outdoor Retailer show, creating four massive wood carvings. Spectators are welcome to watch as the wood is transformed into inspiring sculptures.
“Totem poles are great story-telling pieces that are rich in history of communities and the outdoors. The KEEN wood carvings take inspiration from totem poles and are a unique way of telling the story of our fans, the places we play, and our hybrid philosophy,” said Linda Balfour, marketing director at KEEN.
KEEN collaborated with the artists and designed the wood carvings to tell the stories of the places, and communities that inspire the brand. The goal of the project is to spark imagination and encourage OR attendees to remember their own connections to the outdoor places they play.
Once completed, two of the carvings will be donated to Cannon Greens Community Garden in Salt Lake City. Last summer, KEEN donated $5,000 to the community garden and together provided locally grown fresh food to more than 3,000 OR attendees.
The other two carvings will be brought back to KEEN’s headquarters in Portland, OR for display.
Each 17-foot-tall wood carving portrays different scenes to tell a unique story.
• The Cannon Greens Community Garden Wood Carving is inspired by scenes from the garden filled with growing plants, bees and ladybugs and a harvest.
• The Wasatch Community Wood Carving tells stories of the Wasatch community enjoying the great outdoors.
• The Places We Play Wood Carving highlights the hybrid roots of the brand through stories from KEEN insiders about their adventures on mountain, trails, water and city streets.
• The KEEN History Wood Carving tells the story of KEEN as a brand; From the Newport sandal that started it all, to disaster relief for the Asian Tsunami, to Create, Play and Care, the pillars of HybridLife, to places KEEN’s products enable its fans to play.
Inspired by a love of the outdoors, KEEN Inc. manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, bags and socks, is dedicated to creating quality products that support the lifestyles and outdoor adventures of active people around the world. KEEN products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in KEEN Garage retail stores in Portland, Palo Alto, Tokyo, Prague and Toronto, where fans can enjoy the branded experience. The company operations and culture reflect a stand-out commitment to building a strong community and a healthier planet so that all can create, play, and care. Learn more at www.keenfootwear.com.