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Caleb Freese + BKB Artist Collaboration

Caleb Freese, BKB’s Climbing Education Manager and one of BKB’s very first team members, doubles as a designer, artist, illustrator, and muralist. You may be familiar with his murals and artwork from the entryways of BKB’s in every city. His work sits behind the front desk in Gowanus, along the entry hallway in Somerville, in the retail area in Chicago, and lining the front windows of Queensbridge. This winter, we partnered up with Caleb on a new medium, wearable art and apparel. Learn more about the project as we ask Caleb more about it here and make sure to swing by any of our locations to check out the sports bra and leggings before they’re gone for good (it’s a limited run!).

What’s the motivation or inspiration behind the use of urban environments and natural textures in your latest work?

In this series it’s pretty much all natural textures, flowers and plants drawn from my adventures biking, backpacking and climbing outdoors.  I believe the mix between urban environment and the natural elements (flowers and cities) happens when people wear them around the city. So the wearer provides the contrast.

How do you translate your artwork to apparel and/or wearable art?

I do pattern work in my existing art and most of my work is able to be silk screened, so it can live on whatever medium.

Will we be seeing you work in more mediums in the future?

Hopefully, doing a project with laser etching currently, would love to do more of that.  Also designed a series of beer cans for a local brooklyn brewery, so yes.

I also do lots of dog drawings: .

Where can people learn more about you and your art?

My instagram: or website

Anything else you’d like to call out?

I think art should be fun, approachable and playful.  Love this project because it does all of that with a burst of color.

Interested in doing an artist collaboration with BKB? Email us at [email protected]!



Supporting Women and Giving Back

This month we’ve partnered with Dignity Matters, a non-profit organization that collects and supplies feminine hygiene products and underwear to women and girls who are homeless or otherwise in need, in order to help them stay healthy, regain self-confidence, and live with basic dignity.

sam steinman-brooklyn boulders-personal training

Introducing Sam Steinman – BKB Personal Trainer & Climbing Coach

Sam Steinman joined the BKB personal training family recently as an experienced climber and trainer with a passion for biomechanics (seriously he has a degree in it). Growing up in Malibu, Sam capitalized on the thousands of unclimbed routes there and is credited with numerous first ascents in the Santa Monica Mountains, Joshua Tree, and the Sierra’s. He is an ultra-marathoner, a nationally ranked surfer, and an avid ice climber. Oh and did we mention he’s also super friendly? He wanted to make sure we added that.

How to Appreciate your Belaytionship for Valentine’s Day

When rope climbing, your most crucial relationship is the one you have with your belay partner. Trust and communication are crucial. Your wellbeing is quite literally in the other person’s hands, and if you’re lead climbing, there’s a likely possibility that one person’s butt will end up in the other’s face.

Once you find a good belay partner and establish a “belaytionship,” it makes all the difference in your climbing. Finding a good belay partner doesn’t mean that you can’t climb with other people, but it’s nice to have someone dependable that you enjoy and trust. As you make plans with your significant other, with friends, or even with Netflix this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget about the person on the other end of your rope. Here are some ways to show your belaytionship love and appreciation.

 

  1. Always, always, always check your partner.

This isn’t really a Valentine’s appreciation suggestion as much as a good practice. Regardless of whether it’s your first time or five hundredth time climbing, if you want to be a good climbing partner, always double check knots and gear before you head up the wall or crag. It’s way too easy to settle into a comfortable pattern and assume that your partner did everything right before hopping on a climb, but nothing will ruin your belaytionship faster than a preventable injury.

 

  1. Treat your belay partner with a gear gift.

Don’t overthink it.  A small gift of appreciation goes a long way. Does your partner always borrow your ATC or chalk bag? Gifting gear to your friend will decrease wear on your own gear AND remind them of you each time they use it.  

 

  1. Do something other than climb with them.

If you spend several hours a week climbing with your belay partner, hopefully you enjoy spending time with them. Show your appreciation for them as a person as well as a climber by making plans outside of the facility. You can grab post-climb drinks or go to a yoga class that can help you train for #sends.

Whether your belaytionship is with your best friend, some guy from work, or even your significant other, make sure you give them a shoutout and help them feel appreciated Valentine’s Day and everyday. 

Words: Anne Cruz, Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

Edits: Jen Werner, Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

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