Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Boys are Back in Town...

It isn’t often you come across a group guys who are incredibly creative, talented, artistic, sophisticated, well- rounded, good looking and awesome to hang out with! The crew from Bassbus is all these things and more. When I first met Gareth Rider (Fedora), Joel Ferguson (Keanu) and Baran Faber (Bullseye) I was truly taken by their soft spoken personalities, passion and willingness to give back to our community. 

Before we get into the nicknames and dynamic personalities of the Bassbus creators, let me begin with the background of how it all started.  Bassbus was born from the collaboration of three childhood friends who, as you can imagine, likely endured an encyclopedia of ups and downs together over the past several years.  More recently, after University studies, first and second jobs and a longing for something more, the three created Bassbus. Bassbus is, quite literally, one of the coolest concepts currently taking form within the Calgary Art scene. Bassbus, a school bus which has been converted into a nomadic art exhibition, is capable of everything from transporting school trips to hosting live acoustic bands. From simple transportation to engineered sound outlets, Bassbus can host the next indie band, act as a gallery space for emerging artists, operate as a temporary business space for artisans and transport a group of 30 to the mountains; the possibilities are endless.  A bus plastered in exquisite graffiti-inspired artwork is hard to imagine as a stage or stationed in a local park with artisans selling their wares and yet, as soon as you let your imagination run you begin to visualize Bassbus all over the city. The best part about it is the spirit behind its existence. Joel, Gareth and Baran want the bus to build community, spark conversation and, more than anything, act as a place where artists of all media can come together and share their experiences, successes and milestones. 

One of the most fascinating things about Baran (Bullseye), Gareth (Fedora) and Joel (Keanu) is their unique sense of style. I have had the pleasure of getting to know them at several Art Gallery of Calgary events and each time I run into them I grow fonder of their overall charm and personalities.  Baran, whom I've coined "Bullseye", is intelligent, down to earth and the perfect combination of business and creativity.  He is soft spoken, funny and well rounded. Baran is the guy you could talk to for hours, never a dull moment and incredibly entertaining. He completed a degree in Computer Science and later pursued a career with a successful oil and gas company doing Instrumentation. After working outside of Calgary for a while he missed home, his friends and longed for a career which was more fulfilling and rewarding.  

Gareth, who I have come to love calling "Fedora", is quite GQ if you will, as he is always sporting wonderful Fedora hats. Last week he was in The Gallery at our exhibition opening wearing an amazing grey fedora with a bold assortment of feathers adorning the side. His quiet nature and passion for creative expression is both endearing and interesting. After completing a degree in Adventure Tourism and Mountaineering in BC, he too migrated back to his Calgary roots and found solace in the Bassbus team.

Joel, who shockingly resembles Keanu Reeves and, therefore, is appropriately nicknamed Keanu, couples the charming qualities of a suited and booted London banker with the free thinking style of an artist and writer. He is humble, witty and passion literally oozes out of his core. Joel is currently completing a degree in Political Science with a minor in law and like his other counterparts he is clearly not a laid back individual but rather full of ambition and drive. 

Bassbus and its fascinating team of founders truly can and will revolutionize our ideals about creative transportation and artwork being meant only for museums and galleries. This bus bridges the principles of contemporary art, community and the overall ethos of a generation. The 20 somethings are back, they are entrepreneurial, inspiring and invested in the importance of community, culture, business and art. I can’t think of a better group of guys to focus your attention on right now within the art community. Their backgrounds are diverse, unique, interesting and worth listening to. The boys are truly back in town quickly transforming cowtown to cooltown, these guys are a 'must-see' for contemporary art seekers. 

Follow Bassbus on Facebook and check back often for updates on their progress

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