Chris Bovey and his retro-style posters have been popular in Spokane for many years. Frequently seen at events like street fairs, he eventually was a regular presence at the River Park Square mall, and now Bovey has his very own Vintage Print shop, which opened in September in the Garland district.
We’ll take a look at the new store in a moment. First, let’s talk about what it is that makes Chris Bovey’s art so appealing.
About Chris Bovey’s Art
Bovey found his niche, tapping into the nostalgia people feel for their own hometown – the way it used to be. Fans of the artist – and there are many – connect with his iconic images of the past: Expo ’74, the Crescent’s Christmas display windows, and permanent fixtures like Riverfront Park’s Loof Carousel.
“You know, it’s really cool,” Bovey tells me. “Because, like, Nat Park, for example. I have no memories of that park, but you’ll see people come here, or at my shows, and then all of a sudden they’ll see that piece and just be instantly transported to when they were a kid.”
The art is instantly recognizable for its screen-printed designs in mostly muted pastel colors, mimicking a vintage look that would otherwise take decades of wear, tear, and sun-damage to achieve.
The Inspiration for Bovey’s Designs
“There used to be a lot of this type of design,” he says of his deceptively “simplistic” style. “Fifties and sixties, and stuff like that. And it just kind of faded out.”
“And then just slowly over time, I think it became quicker, cheaper and easier just to slap stuff together on the computer. So, I would always cruise around at antique shops and pick up old things, and just kind of yearn for that design. Like, ‘no one does that anymore.’ So, seeing that niche, and coming from the design world, I was like, why not try doing that? And bring that style back.”
And he has brought it back, in hangable, stickable and wearable art at Vintage Print, the newest shop in the charmingly old-fashioned Garland neighborhood. I can’t think of a better spot to set up shop. But if you can’t get there, take a look at the Etsy store.
Now let’s take a look at the new digs.
Vintage Prints: Artist from Spokane Makes the Old New Again
Chris Bovey has tapped into Spokane’s nostalgia and hometown pride.