Jeremy Collins is probably a workaholic, though he wouldn’t classify himself as such. Never sitting still, he’s always popping up in one corner of the planet or another for a short stint, leaving artwork, first ascents, and hip hop playlists in his wake. Fueled by a combination of creative energy, passion for the outdoors, and an inner drive to spread good vibes and inspire others, it’s easy to fall back on clichés such as “lightning in a bottle” when asked to describe him. It’s no easy task to distract a crowd from Portland, Oregon’s various 4/20 festivities, instead spending an evening in celebratory anticipation of Earth Day, but that’s just what happened last night.
Focused around Jeremy’s newest art installation, dubbed “Infinite Worlds, One Earth,” dozens of friends and fans came together at KEEN HQ to raise money for Outdoor Alliance. Comprised of nearly 50 individual illustrations, all hand-drawn and painted onto square wooden canvases, the seemingly independent images of outdoor scenes – from landscapes to plants and animals – combined into a singular story once mounted together around a four-sided frame. It’s an easy metaphor to comprehend, that we’re all living individual lives, yet also all sharing just this one planet. It’s also a timely message, as our culture becomes more and more divided.
A long table next to the installation was covered with Jeremy’s sketchbooks from various adventures, pages covered in drawings, journal entries, and ideas thrown together while on the road. As people flipped freely through them, a screen printer busily scraped his art onto bandanas and Jeremy mingled in the crowd alongside fellow KEEN ambassadors Ari DeLashmutt and myself.
The evening climaxed with a presentation of Jeremy’s latest work as an “unintentional street artist,” traveling the country painting politically-charged messages on buildings in support of disaster relief, protecting public lands, and rallying behind women’s rights, as seen through the widespread adoption of his “Power to the Peaceful” art, on display world-wide during women’s marches. While detailing his plans to attend next week’s People’s Climate March in Washington DC, he noted a page on his website featuring a new round of free, downloadable posters for those who wish to join, be it in DC or locally. His latest poster art invites collaboration from the public, letting anyone take the designs and add their own ideas and thoughts to create something larger than the source…
Sad to have missed the party? Well, don’t worry, you can still be a part of the action – get your own limited edition t-shirt featuring the “Infinite Worlds One Earth” artwork by clicking here, and $10 of the sale goes directly to the KEEN Effect partner Outdoor Alliance. And if you happen to be headed to DC for the march, look for Jeremy, Caroline Gleich, and myself there handing out screen printed bandanas and be sure to come say hello. Don’t forget, this is the only planet we have, and no matter what your personal political beliefs, ultimately we’re all in this – on this – together.