What do craft beer, visual art, and community-focused collaborative projects have in common in Asheboro, North Carolina? Visual artist Les Caison III has a hand in all the above as a featured participant in the Inaugural Art Wall Project at Four Saints Brewing Company. The brewery and tasting room, located at 218 South Fayetteville Street in downtown Asheboro, is hosting a free reception for Les on Friday, October 6th from 5:30 p.m – 7 p.m. The public is invited to meet and interact with the artist and his large-scale painting installation in the tasting room. The reception also includes a display of 50 one-of-a-kind drawings by Les on bottles of limited edition beer. Les’ painting, titled “Helping Hands Give You Wings” is on exhibit in the taproom August 1 through October 31st. For more information visit Four Saints Brewing Company on the web at www.bit.ly/FSBCArtWall. To see more of Les’ artwork visit his website: www.LesIII.com.
The painting, “Helping Hands Gives You Wings” is inspired by regional craft breweries adding to their communities. Says Les, “F.S.B.C. owners Joel McClosky and Andrew Deming understand the importance of intertwining the arts with their business plan. It is compelling to see them promote what they are passionate about and employ a variety of artists including musicians, potters, and graphic designers. F.S.B.C. embraces a win-win-win formula that resonates with me. They see an enriched way of life as one where the community wins, the businesses win, and the artists win.”
F.S.B.C. requires Art Wall Project artists to host public work sessions in order to foster artful dialogue with the community. Les crafted his 11 foot-wide canvas from scratch in the tasting room. Spanning almost two weeks the public had an opportunity to witness the daily evolution of his painting. F.S.B.C. also tasks each artist with designing commemorative merchandise. F.S.B.C. Head Brewer, Andrew Deming, collaborated with Les to create a small-batch of imperial wit beer called “A Helping Hand Of Ginger.” Les is scheduled to brew the ginger wit beer with Andrew during September. In the interim Les visits the tasting room during business hours and draws on the soon-to-be-filled bottles. Tasting room patrons watch, ask questions and, in a way, become part of the project. Patrons may even pre-purchase the bottles while Les is drawing on them. The finished, filled, and signed bottles are available for purchase/pick up at the close of the October reception.
“Having Les, a talented and inspiring hometown artist, close out the inaugural Art Wall makes sense. Being able to host his reception during one of our hometown’s signature events, the Fall Festival, also makes sense. We get the chance to celebrate Les, and his addition to our brewery’s taproom, during a time when, it seems, our whole town is celebrating. Les’ vision and leadership through this whole process has been tantamount. Without him, this project would not have been sophisticated as it has been. So, we get to celebrate that with beers and deep fried Oreos,” says Joel McClosky, CEO of Four Saints Brewing Company. Asheboro’s Annual Fall Festival Event is scheduled for the first weekend of October.
Les Caison III appears before his 11 foot-wide painting titled “Helping Hands Give You Wings.” (image courtesy of the artist).
A glimpse of the label and several bottle art images for the upcoming collaboration beer from Four Saints Brewing Company and Les Caison III (image courtesy of the artist)
About the Artist: Les Caison III is an award winning visual artist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. He exhibits his artwork throughout the southeastern United States and amid venues a bit further away. He has a knack for projects that flex his creative problem solving can-do. He’s sold out exhibitions in alternative spaces; earned a grant to produce artwork on recycled paper; and created financially self-sustaining non-profit arts programs without a budget. His narrative, expressive artwork is included in over 130 exhibitions including 36 solo shows. Les’ art-making practice includes a mixed media approach that intertwines layers of drawing and painting. He recently earned an Honorable Mention at the Theatre Art Galleries in High Point, NC as part of the summer 2017 Urban Expressions Exhibition. Les’ art was also selected by Evan Pricco, Editor-In-Chief of Juxtapoz Magazine as part of the Sweet N Low Exhibition hosted by California’s Bedford Gallery. Les enjoys mashing his bicycle pedals and hiking in the rain in and around his current home of Asheboro, N.C.. See more of his creative process via his Instagram account: @LesThreee.
About the project: The inaugural Art Wall Project selected five visual artists to create separate one-of-a-kind works of art on-site utilizing a designated 12 feet long and 4.5 feet high blank wall in the Four Saints Tasting Room. Each artist’s installation is exhibited for a period of three months. The complete Art Wall Project, with rotating art installations began March 2016 and concludes October 2017. Each artist is honored with a public meet-and-greet reception and creation of limited edition merchandise. A goal of the project is to offer insight and foster dialogue between the local community and the regional visual artists. Owners Andrew Deming and Joel McClosky view the Art Wall Project as one of the many worthy FSBC endeavors included in an active interpretation of their mission statement and brand hook: “Great Beer For Great People.” For more information on the Four Saints Art Wall Project visit: www.bit.ly/FSBCArtWall .