Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Weekend Skates On!

In a sense, the weekend started on Thursday at 4 PM. Lady Street, right outside Vista Studios' doors, was blocked off and patrolled by the Columbia police department. It was "open skateboarding" time down three sloping blocks of pavement in temperatures that were in the low 90s. The skaters didn't seem to mind. They did tricks and sweat bullets. I bought four cases of bottled water and dispersed them to everyone. There were skaters as young as six, and the older teenagers were all very supportive of these beginners. There were only a few girls. It was amazing to see. The art reception started at 7:00 PM. There was no alcohol. Everyone used the trash cans...quite unlike the typical art opening...quite unlike the stereotype of "property destructive skaters". Several skateboards sold. T-shirts were $15 toward the non-profit Pour It Now that hopes to get a proper skate part built here in town. It was a nice evening.

Alex and I are planning to create a video of the show. No images, however, can relate some of the wonderful things that happened. A man and his young son drove up from Orangeburg. I watched the locals melt down feelings of apprehension within seconds. They all skated together. A lady brought in dozens of brand new CDs that had recently been released by her husband. They were for the skaters because one of the songs had been inspired from her husband's teenage years as a skater. The State Newspaper ran an article on the show in the "weekend section" that included two of my color! It is below (without the photos).

‘Skate and Create’ brings different artists together
Can’t afford one of those BMWs that has been painted by Andy Warhol, Jenny Holzer or David Hockney? How about another four-wheeler — a skateboard painted by David Yaghjian, Susan Lenz or Lauren Gregory?

These bold boards are part of “Skate and Create,” which brings together skateboarders, visual artists and filmmakers in and around Gallery 80808/Vista Studios this weekend. “This show is more than just an art exhibit,” said David Toole, owner of Blue Tile Skate Shops in Columbia. “It’s a community of people, skaters and non-skaters, gathering together to show their support and to raise awareness for the need of safe environments for skateboarders.”

Because skateboarders are generally creative types — in techniques, haircuts and how they decorate boards — it seemed like a good idea to get artists involved, Toole said. He had lined up skaters/artists to do the show when Susan Lenz, who has a studio at 808, offered to help.

So did artist David Yaghjian. Yaghjian’s daughter and Lenz’ son are friends with Dreher High School junior Dorian Warneck, whose movie “Welcome to your DOOM” will be shown at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Money raised from the sale of the boards will go toward helping build a new Columbia skate park, Toole said.

Both Lenz and Toole see the collaboration rolling both ways. “I wanted to incorporate different people, not just skate boarders,” Toole said. “It brings a different group of people into our space as well,” Lenz added.

IF YOU GO: “Skate and Create”
WHEN: 7 to 10 tonight, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
WHERE: Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, 808 Lady St.
COST: Free
INFORMATION: Vista Studios,(808) 252-6134, or Blue Tile, (803) 732-2345

Two skateboarding videos debuted over the weekend. The following images are of the seventy-five or so people gathered to see Dorian Warneck's film at 4 PM on Saturday...right outside my studio door. It was a very, very professionally created and edited film. I was more than a little impressed.

Even though all this was going on, I was still able to get lots of work done. I managed to put together over forty pieces for hand African images on individual pages of a book called Black God. The title appears at the top of each page. I had already transferred all the pictures. I just put each page with two pieces of handmade or decorative paper in order to create an interesting background. This meant, however, digging out all my papers from under the worktable. It was a mess...a total disaster all over the studio. Jeff Donovan had given me a wire rack recently. I used foam board to create sturdy shelves and finally organized the papers. The studio looks much more tidy.

Later, I put together Strata VIII. Hopefully, I'll have photos soon.

1 comment:

arlee said...

All those papers look so luscious and tempting! Nice stockpile!