We are pleased to announce the release of an extremely special, limited-edition set of sterling silver belt buckles commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.
In order to celebrate the artists whose work defined this era, we have revived the work of Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, and Alton kelley – all credited as early pioneers of the psychedelic concert poster movement spawned in San Francisco during the mid- to late ‘60s. During this time, Bill Graham and Chet Helms embraced this movement and provided the platform for it to grow through concert promotions for the Avalon Ballroom, Fillmore Auditorium and Winterland Arena. Bill Graham Presents and Family Dog Productions found themselves at ground zero of both the cultural revolution taking place in San Francisco and a magical movement in art history.
This project was made possible through the vision and support of the Alexander Chambers Gallery. “To commemorate and celebrate this era, I, with the assistance of my great friend and immensely talented jeweler thought it would be fun to revisit the largely lost art form of making belt buckles,” said Brian Chambers, Curator at Alexander Chambers Gallery. “Together, we combed through the many amazing images from this era in search of the most perfect iconic piece from each artist. The buckles were then executed using the traditional “lost wax” technique and now, after countless hours fine-tuning the process in the studio, they are ready to be worn.”
“Our combined love and appreciation of the movement, the music, and the art that emerged during this time period drove us to contribute to this cultural legacy,” said Sean Smokovich, Owner/Designer at Smokovich Designs. “We believe it’s important to keep this spirit alive and we hope these iconic buckles will help galvanize awareness of the psychedelic movement for generations to come.”
“With the blessing and assistance from each artist or their respective estate, we decided on a limited edition of 50 for each buckle in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love,” said Chambers. “For both Sean and I this project has been an honor and a pleasure and was a way for us to give back to this magical movement in art history that continually gives so much inspiration to us in our artistic endeavors.”
Each buckle has been endorsed by the original artist or their estate. The project itself is a tribute to the spirit of creative collaboration and shared mindsets which launched the spirit of The Summer of Love far beyond what anyone at the time had dreamed.
Captured, created in collaboration with Alton Kelley. This piece depicts the iconic winged scarab beetle Kelley which ultimately graced the cover of several Journey albums. Alton Kelley was also responsible for the skull and roses image on The Grateful Dead’s self-titled 1971 album, The Grateful Dead.
Fuck, created in collaboration with Stanley Mouse. In his signature mind-bending lettering, Mouse created the piece to which this buckle pays tribute in 1966. Mouse’s work can be found across countless concert posters from the era and was commissioned by The Grateful Dead, Big Brother and The Holding Company, and many others to create classic psychedelic imagery whose legacy persist to this day.
Psychedelic Solution, created in collaboration with Rick Griffin. This image was originally named The Crying Eye and commissioned for an album by Mad River in 1968. It was later renamed The Psychedelic Solution, and became the logo for the Psychedelic Solution Gallery. Not only did Griffin design covers for The Grateful Dead – most notably Aoxomoxoa (1969) – he was also an important figure in the surfing subculture of the time, as well as the emerging Underground Comix movement.
Excerpt from ‘Can You Pass The Acid Test Poster, created in collaboration with Wes Wilson. Originally produced in 1966, the poster from which this image was taken can easily be seen as a signpost to the underground psychedelic scene in the late ‘60s. Produced by Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters, these “tests” helped take the collective use of LSD as a mind enhancing drug to the next level. In his time, Wilson would also produce hundreds of posters for Bill Graham and The Fillmore in San Francisco.