Jennifer Ament has a natural glow that is reflected in her art. Drawing inspiration from the NW; the music, mystics, mayhem, and the natural environment, her creations are works of passion. She is an artist for progress, and her message in the Gloss graphic is one of hope and change. The current political climate may have caused her to hide behind the blinds but she channels that despair into meaningful artwork. She doesn’t gloss over life’s challenges but fights hate with hope and brings people together for positive change. Check out @artistsforprogress to learn more about her non-profit and the power of art with purpose. Her site, www.jenniferament.com, showcases a wide variety of prints, paintings, and an epic video sharing her process.
Jen’s no stranger to snowboarding, and she used to dream of working at our Seattle Mervin factory in the 90’s. We are thrilled our paths have crossed 20 years later, and we have her art featured on our progressive, freestyle Gloss boards and BMBW upshot bindings for 2019! Follow her feed @jenniferament!
Interview by Barrett Christy
Your artwork on the Gloss series this year is beautiful and powerful, can you share the inspiration behind this piece?
Thank you so much. The inspiration came from the results of the 2016 election. When it first happened, I felt like the outcome could be reversed somehow, I was exploding with energy and drive to help the most threatened institutions. I started a non profit called “Artists for Progress” and invited all of my friends to create a series of incredible political and non political artwork and we had a big party and auction and raised 25,000 in 4 hours for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. After that event and the months rolled by with no change to the administration, I went through a phase of wanting to hide in my house and regroup. That is when I created the image of the woman peeking through the blinds. Many of us were longing for a feeling of security and withdrawing from the content barrage of bad news. I watched no media coverage after a while to gather myself together, and then finally came to a place of hope for unity, and the ability to see other people perspectives and then created the artwork that is going on the bindings, which is an image of hands coming together, in hopes of getting to a more peaceful place.
Although, there are plenty of reasons people can find to hide behind the blinds, what do you sometimes want to hide from behind the blinds?
So many things! Small talk, deadlines, uncertainty, drama.
What gets you to step out from behind your blinds?
Morning hope, birds chirping, family dinners, sun, snow, lakes.
Tell us about your history with snowboarding in the NW?
I lived in Colorado before I moved to Seattle in 1990, and started boarding in high school. My first board was a Barfoot. My second was a Gnu.I lived in Breckenridge after I graduated in a place with a bunch of boarders, and I remember a lot of parties with Shawn Farmer coming over and just being Farmer, cracking everyone up and making trouble. I remember the house smelling like beer all of the time. We would go to the Breckenridge world snowboarding Championships, which was just starting out and, the first in the world. I would watch Shaun Palmer and Craig Kelly, in all of their neon glory, do tricks I had never seen before. It was an amazing time.There were an incredibly small percentage of women on boards then. I remember seeing only a handful.
Then I moved to Seattle in ’90 and my best friend and I would go to Baker a lot, Stevens, and Alpental after work, and on weekends. We watched in awe as many friends traveled the world in competitions. Also Barrett, you were a huge idol of mine! When we went to Baker we would hang with Marci and her legendary dad from the Mt. Baker snowboard shop and of course went to the Chandelier when we were done for the day.
Any favorite Gnu or Lib graphics from the archives?
The Gnu B Pro by Hannah Stouffer with the snake pattern is one of my all time favs.
What is your favorite medium to create in?
Ink on paper and wax paintings.
What role does music play in your life?
A huge role, when I lived in Denver we would hang out at Wax Trax records and find out about all the shows that were playing that week. I got to see so many great bands. Minor threat, Circle Jerks, Wendy O’ and the Plasmatics, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys tour with girls dancing in huge cages.Then after I moved to Seattle in ’90 I became involved in the grunge scene, right before it blew up. We would go to some great shows at Rckndy, and the Off Ramp. Many pieces of my work were influenced by the experiences I had, and the rejection of the 80’s self indulgence, and greed.
Do your children create too?
Yes, my daughter, who is 19, Akira Galaxy (@akiragalaxy) just landed a record contract with a great small label and is working with producers in L.A. She started snow boarding at 4 and my son Henry at around the same age. He is also a great wakeboarder. My husband and kids are the best things that ever happened to me.