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caleb freese

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The Future Is Keys Open Doors

What does The Future hold for you? Calling NYC artists – we’ve got some blank space on the BKBQB walls in your future. Meet resident artist Caleb Freese and find out a little bit more about the upcoming art community at Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge.

BROOKLYN WITH LOVE, TONIGHT!

Don’t miss our art show tonight, 7pm at BKB – Brooklyn With Love. There will be beer, good people and come by for a chance to own a limited edition, hand silk-screened print! Prints are 30″ x 22″, and even come in pretty colors:
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Although a climbing gym may seem like an unusual place for a 13-square foot mural, for Brooklyn-based artist Caleb Freese it makes perfect sense. Despite living in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world, Freese has a deep connection to the natural world and has spent time as a whitewater raft guide as well as a rock climbing instructor, and his art often reflects the conflict between the natural world and city life. For Brooklyn Boulders, a gym which emphasizes creativity and community, a mural which emphasizes the landscape of the city was a perfect fit. Freese’s inspiration for this piece came from the concept of a “tiny planet”, the view of looking down at a globe from above and thus displaying the New York skyline as its own unique universe. Because the space itself is so loud and colorful already, Freese created a mural which is stripped down, extremely detail oriented yet simple, and purely black and white. He wanted the mural to not be attention grabbing in a large sense, but have many small details that climbers can notice each time they come to the gym, and thus have a continuing relationship with the art. Freese employed extensive line-drawings and silk-screening to create this piece. He also has murals in the Chicago and Boston locations of Brooklyn Boulders.

caleb art piece

 

“Brooklyn With Love” Art Show

You are cordially invited to our “Brooklyn With Love” Art Show on December 11th, 2014, 7pm.

There will be complimentary beer, snacks and limited edition prints of Caleb’s new piece for sale! Get yours signed by Caleb himself, and also view portraits of climbers by Koji Ishibashi.

Free & open to the public – just RSVP to events@brooklynboulders.com

brooklyn with love art

 

WHO IS OPHELIA?

You might’ve seen this adorable dog wandering Brooklyn Boulders before (or recognize her from our Instagram):

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Her name is Ophelia and she’s the unofficial mascot of BKB. Ophelia is the reason why artist and long-time climber Caleb Freese, who trains all the instructors for ropes courses, got involved in the community. Meet Ophelia and her human, Caleb:

caleb + ophelia

 

How did you meet Ophelia – did she always have that name?
I adopted Ophelia from the Portland Humane Society, in Oregon.  I’d had dogs my whole life and once I moved out on my own I’d realized I couldn’t imagine myself without a dog.  Ever.  I struggled to identify myself without owning a dog.  So I went to the pound the next day.

While the Shakespeare reference is there, her name was inspired by The Band “Ophelia”.  She was quite reserved at first, taking a long time to warm up but she always loved playing fetch.  The pound described her as “an oversized lap dog who loves playing fetch” and it’s true.  If she’s not at BKB playing fetch, she’ll curl up in you lap.  She’s 100% a different dog when the ball is not around, she gets tucked in at night and will lay around for hours.

How did you get involved with Brooklyn Boulders?
I was walking Ophelia!  Walked by the gym during construction and got to know everyone. I’d guided outdoors and taught climbing for a college on the west coast- so it was a natural fit. Lance said, “how well you’ve trained your dog speaks a lot about you as a person” and so they hired me right away. I taught the first belay class at BKB and now train for all the belay classes in all facilities.

How did Ophelia become the unofficial BKB mascot?
Another owner said, “I’m glad you have a dog because every gym needs a dog”. I think a dog sets the tone of the gym.  Ultimately the gym should embody the spirit of a climbing crag outdoors. Good people.  Bad ass climbing. Active, unique and easygoing people. And theres always a dog.

What else are you up to around BKB?
I’m near completion of a 14 foot mural in the entrance of Brooklyn Boulders.  I’ve spent entirely too much time hand drawing the entire NYC skyline.  But I hope people will like it AND its really a thank you to BKB for being amazing.  A thank you to the owners, employees and all the members. Here’s a sneak peek:

caleb art piece

 

Ophelia’s favorite food?
Hahahaha.  Anything meat.. and that’s it.  The first year we opened we had a hot dog eating contest: whoever could eat more hot dogs in one minute than Ophelia would get a free membership.  Ophelia won.

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Next time you see Ophelia around the gym, be sure to toss her a ball! She’ll thank you.