The Tree, Alejandro Del Grizzel, and ACL
Greetings all! For all of you who came by for a visit at ACL Festival, we thank you and hope you are still grooving from the festival! As some of y'all have seen we partnered with international artist, Alejandro Del Grizzel from the UK to create a work that we had been imagining for some time. Alex came into the Teysha world through Hanna Hall, our community catalyst in Guatemala and one of the many people involved in the making of our Guate Boots. We began describing how we, Teysha, hoped to function like a tree, growing our roots, stabilizing and strengthening communities, and creating nourishment and prosperity for a variety of stakeholders; namely, the environment, our supporters, the artisans, and our common future. We felt the cosmos aligning and Alex drafted up a beautiful illustration that depicted this vision wonderfully. Alex, on a mission to spread art, love and color throughout the world along his journey from East to West and North and South jumped at the opportunity to take his mission to Austin, TX for ACL Festival and loaded up his backpack to head North.
At Teysha, we are all about building connections and working to create community action across borders, cultures, and places. As of now we've been doing that through our Kicks and collaborating with textile artisans and cobblers in Panama, Colombia, and Guatemala. It has lead us to some really beautiful places, many of which Alex depicted in this amazing mural. In the ocean, at the base of the painting, we have the Comarca Guna Yala, known to many as the San Blas Islands (the colonial name). This is home of the Kuna(Guna) nation and the many women who create the amazing Mola tapestries for their blouses. Above the islands, we have Medellin, Colombia (recently voted one of the most innovative cities in the world) and where we produce one version of our Kuna Kicks line. You can see the famous Cotajer building and the iconic urban sky tram system that has made Medellin such a progressive town. To the right of Medellin, you see a sea of flowers, each of these countries national flowers, cleverly next to Colombia - a country famous for its flower farms and the 'Festival del Flores'. Below the tree that links all of these places together, we have our humble home, Austin, Texas. Alex did an amazing job capturing our city's skyline, the reflection on Lady Bird Lake, the bats emerging from the Congress bridge into the sunset. Throughout the mural, you see a variety of birds from Texas' mockingbird, the majestic Quetzal, and Colombia's Andean Condor. Then, of course, there is Antigua, Guatemala, one of the Americas' oldest colonial towns and one of the most charming and special places we have been so blessed to explore. Framed amazingly by Antigua's neighboring volcanoes, it is certainly one of the most surreal places we are lucky enough to work. Here, we plan to take our operations to another level in an effort to expand our ability to bring opportunity to more craftspeople and social entrepreneurs and also hope to create a home for supporters, like you, to come visit, learn about the Mayan people and art forms, and experience the amazing beauty of Guatemala, learn more about the realities facing our world, and get to know some really amazing people. Last but not least, are the roots that connect us all. Trees are one of the most vital life forms on our planet, they provide the ground stability, nourish the land and our bodies, they give habitat to many of the world's creatures, and provide much of the oxygen we breathe. We are actively seeking ways that we can bring the power of trees to the various communities we work with, both here and abroad. While we know we are making a substantial social and economic impact in the communities we work in, we are planning ways to expand our impact and bring prosperity to future generations as well. We can think of no better form than trees that can provide nutrition, protection, and life.
To all of you who have been a part of the Teysha journey, by visiting us, reading our posts, or rockin' our Kicks, we thank you from the bottom of our heart. It has been a wonderful and wild journey, full or twists and turns, great people and amazing art, we thank you for empowering this journey and hope that we can empower yours just the same. Much love to all and have a stellar week!