Symbiotic Stories – Sanford Hodges & Neon Signs
"Art is freedom. Being able to bend things most people see as a straight line."
When I started my career with Buchi a few months ago, one of the first things I realized is how there are so many talented people walking through our brewery every single day. Underneath the hairnets and beard masks are artists, creators, kayakers, musicians, writers, Ted talkers, photographers and farmers. We all have a history and we all have different ways of showing the world who we are and how we can bend things that most people see as a straight line.
A couple weeks ago the Buchi van made a delivery to the ZaPow Gallery in the heart of the Brewery District on the South Slope. ZaPow displays a carefully curated selection of some of the best Pop Culture Artists in the United States and also carries many local craft brews. It's a very cool place to spend an evening with friends sipping on your favorite beverage while browsing some fantastic artistic pieces.
So many times I've made deliveries to places I've never been before and I find myself looking around in amazement at the awesome decor and overall vibes and then mutter to myself that I need to show this place to my wife on a date night. Asheville and the surrounding areas really has it going on, I feel lucky to call this place home!
After unloading the delivery, the curator at ZaPow told me she'd be right back with a check so I insisted I was in no hurry and I'd be happy to browse the gallery while I waited. I wish I could say I spend more time in art galleries, but somewhere between getting married and having two young kids I spend more time at Chuck E. Cheese and Sky Zone than I do browsing fine art. But that doesn't mean I don't know how to do the gallery walk, you know the one, it's where you put your hands behind your back and take big, slow steps while browsing the creations hanging on the wall.
As I was slow-stepping around the gallery, an awesome design in the corner caught my eye. It was glass, neon light bent in a funky shape and attached to what looked like vintage barnwood. The colors of the neon drew me in and as I walked closer I saw the name of the artist and recognized him right away: Sanford Hodges.
I kind of chuckled to myself and said, "No way, that's so cool!" I guess one of the gallery employees heard me and walked over to see what piece had grabbed my attention.
"Ahhh, you've found one of my favorite pieces."
I asked him to tell me more about the artist and he explained to me how Sanford Hodges is a local artist who makes wonderful pieces and pays very close attention to his mediums and craftsmanship. He went on to say Sanford wants to create pieces that will stand the test of time so when people look back at his works 100 years from now they'll say he did things the right way. Then he told me Sanford already has pieces that contribute to the local Asheville landscape, one of them being the huge neon hanging outside The Orange Peel on Biltmore Ave.
That's right, our very own evening supervisor Sanford Hodges doubles as one of the best Pop artists in the United States! Check out some of the images below of Sanford and his crew creating part of our cultural landscape.