Published on June 28, 2021 | Memphis, TN
Two artists from different cities recently came together to create a piece that captures the heart of Soulsville — making you feel like you’re in Memphis, even when you aren’t able to climb at Rox. Jon Sedor of Cleveland, Ohio and Lawrence Crozier, a Memphian and Rox Team Member, wanted this piece to live in a way that would benefit the Rox mission.
Jon was inspired by the work of Memphis Rox and reached out to discuss how his company, Pebble Wrestler Co., could assist in amplifying the mission. Jon says, “I was blown away by the idea of building a gym in the heart of a struggling community with the mission to use climbing as a tool to give the people of Soulsville a healthy and fun outlet. I also admire the programs that Memphis Rox offers. The pay-what-you-can option is an ingenious way to ensure that no one feels excluded.”
Jon was raised in the Midwest and grew a love for climbing, skateboarding, and BMX throughout his childhood. He developed a passion for the arts in high school. However, in his senior year of high school, he was met with a significant setback, being involved in a serious accident that resulted in the amputation of his dominant left hand. Now a right-handed artist, Jon more heavily pursued the arts, even acquiring an MFA for painting and design from the School of Visual Arts in New York. After taking four years off from climbing, Jon returned to climbing, becoming
a professional adaptive climber and a sponsored athlete. Despite Jon’s success, something was missed. Jon notes, “The pressure that I placed on myself while climbing professionally left me feeling burnt out and judged as an amputee. So, I started to pursue my other hobbies and started the Pebble Wrestler Co. Pebble Wrestler Co. embodies everything that drew me to the sport 18 years ago and is about having fun in the outdoors by fostering a community that is all-inclusive.
Fast-forward a couple months, local artist and changemaker, Lawrence Crozier, was asked to create artwork that embodied Soulsville and the greater Memphis area. Lawrence has dedicated his adult life to a vision of sustaining community and culture to uplift Memphians. The design is a collage composed of themes like music, sports, soul, and culture that embody Memphis. The design also expresses Lawrence’s vision of sustained unity and community.
Lawrence has a passionate message to share with others, “The youth are our future and they inherit the problems we ignore. If we as one people don’t collectively rise with love, unity, and community soon, then one day the sheep will turn into wolves. We have to die to ourselves and live for others. The people of Memphis can make a mark in history if we as a village realize that now is the time to intentionally build and preserve a sense of community and culture. For me, that starts at home in Soulsville, TN.”
The end result – Jon and Lawrence collaborating to create a limited-edition t-shirt, on sale beginning June 28 with proceeds benefiting the mission of Memphis Rox. “For two organizations to come together, states apart, to support a mission of inclusivity and unity, is truly unique. This design is bigger than Memphis Rox. It represents the heart and soul of Soulsville, the greater Memphis area, and dreams of a fully united future,” says Sarah Grai, One Family Memphis Director.