Raised in Tacoma, Washington, Art Chantry has been an artist in Seattle for over 30 years. During that time he managed to produce a body of work that, no matter how unorthodox, still rivals some of the best graphic designs in the world. Art has won numerous design and advertising awards, including a Bronze Lion at Cannes and the Poster Laureate of the Colorado International Invitational Poster Exposition. His work has been collected and exhibited by some of the most globally prestigious museums and galleries – including: The Louvre, Smithsonian, Library of Congress and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1993, the Seattle Art Museum honored him with a one-man retrospective showcasing his work, and then again in the summer of 2003, P.S.1. Contemporary Art Center, in association with the Museum of Modern Art, honored him in the same respect. Hundreds of books and magazines have published Art’s work and in 2001, Chronicle Books published the monograph of his artwork in Some People Can’t Surf, written by Julie Lasky.

During his time working in Seattle, Art somehow managed to carve out a style that took hold of the popular underground music scene in the early 1990’s. Dubbed “grunge” by culture mavens, it actually was a look developed at an alternative newsweekly named The Rocket, where Art began as their “Art Director” in 1984 and continued to be involved off and on for over ten years. During that time, the magazine became a virtual hub for Seattle’s music and culture scene. Soon, his ideas extended beyond The Rocket to the fledgling record label Sub Pop where they are now etched in history. Art’s ideas found further nuance in his work for the garage rock record label, Estrus Records, where his style found a perfect symmetry with the their musicians.

Through his work with the staff of The Rocket and the classes he taught at the School of Visual Concepts, Art influenced an entire generation of young graphic designers in the Northwest, and eventually across the county. He has lectured extensively and traveled to present his work all over the world. Art has contributed writings to a number of books about graphic design, and his own book, Instant Litter: Concert Posters from Seattle Punk Culture, is considered a classic in its field. To this day, his signature hard edge, scrappy look can be seen everywhere from punk rock record covers to corporate annual reports.

Why Oakley Chose to Collaborate with Art Chantry

Art Chantry’s designs for the grunge scene through album cover artwork with such bands as Nirvana heavily influenced the early 90’s surf, skate and snow culture in Southern California. Oakley has deep roots set in this community and was inspired, thus making Art a natural choice as one of our collaboration sunglass artists. Art’s work is respected and his notoriety as an influential artist matches Oakley’s outlook by leading in design and innovation.


Staff Writer


June 05, 2007