Exclusive Premiere | 25th Annual Christmas Jam Poster

This weekend the 25th annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam takes place at the U.S.Cellular Center in Asheville, NC boasting a stacked lineup that includes reunions of The Phil Lesh Quintet, Sco-Mule and the Aquarium Rescue Unit as well as performances from the likes of Gov't Mule, Widespread Panic, Gregg Allman and more. Today, we're pleased to show off the extremely cool, pinball-themed poster for the event created by John Warner.

Warner had been thinking about the artwork since last year as the Christmas Jam has expanded over the years to taking over the entire city of Asheville. After hitting so many different locations within the city last year for the day shows, the art show, the after parties and the main event, Warner got the vibe that he was in a pinball machine hitting all these spots around town. "I was just running around all over the place and I felt like a pinball," Warner told us which gave him the idea for this year's artwork. The artist always wanted to design a pinball machine and putting together these posters let him live out his dream. As you can see the artwork spans two posters that when connected together create one piece of art. At the middle of the posters is a huge snowflake, which is part of a shirt design for the event as well. Warner not only designed the poster, but the artwork for the event merchandise as well. As with the event itself, all proceeds from the poster will be donated to the Asheville Area Habitat For Humanity.

The posters are silk-screened, with Warner working closely with the printer to implement his vision. "Designing something digitally is one thing, but actually translating it to a print to make sure it looks right is another thing," Warner told us. There's lots of half-tone layering and metallic inks involved giving the poster a 3D feel. 250 sets of the posters (18" x 24") will be sold along with 50 uncut sheets (24" x 36"). In addition, AJ Masthay has created a poster for the event.

You'll note ARU is listed as "Aquarium Mystery Unit" on the poster. There was a period of time when it appeared ARU bassist Oteil Burbridge would not be available to perform at the event. Just as with any member of the core group, ARU is not ARU without Oteil so the idea was that the core members would perform with guests as "Aquarium Mystery Unit." Thankfully Burbridge has told Warren he would indeed be able to make it to Asheville and will perform with ARU. Organizers tell us we'll get the best of both worlds, the original lineup along with a bunch of great guests. However, the deadline for printing the poster passed so "Aquarium Mystery Unit" is listed on them.

Another Christmas Jam tradition returning this weekend will be the event's art show. Asheville's Satellite Gallery, in conjunction with the Golden Gate Gallery, will host the show, with proceeds from art sales donated to the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. A wide range of artists and photographers have contributed artwork and photos to be shown and sold at the gallery including Warner, Jay Blakesberg, Stewart O'Shields, Justin Helton, Dino Perrucci, Richard Biffle, David Oppenheimer, Gary Houston, Jeff Wood, Allison Murphy, Steve Johannsen, Joshua Marc Levy, Mike Dubois, AJ Masthay, Robbi Cohn and Stuart Engel.

The gallery opens at 3 p.m. this Thursday, with the opening reception set to take place on Friday, with complimentary beer from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The gallery will be open during the day on Saturday, with Pennsylvania bluegrass act Cabinet set to perform a special set at 1 p.m. Admission to the the Satellite Gallery is free. 

[Published on: 12/9/13]

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