Gangplank’s guest-blogging series illustrates the array of personalities and experiences embodied by our community. All invited participants – past brownbag speakers, anchors, new members, City of Chandler employees and others – share their Gangplank stories. Interested guest posters should send a draft to our Director of Operations.
When many cities said no to skateboarders, The City of Chandler said, “Let’s give them a place to skate.” Taking things one-step further, Chandler said, “We’ll give them a world-class skatepark that will help promote Arizona skateboarding and keep them safe.”
The Skatepark at Chandler’s Snedigar Recreation Center was one of the parks that started the country’s second skatepark boom.
Arizona has always had a rich skateboarding history. Countless numbers of professional skateboarders travel to Arizona to shoot photos and film video parts at our skateparks.
“Since the first graphic was drawn onto a board, the culture of skateboarding has grown hand-in-hand with visual arts movements such as the Mission School (Barry McGee, Chris Johanson), Pop Art, and graffiti. The skate culture’s embrace of individual style, approach, and intention is what continues to draw new skaters to this renegade art practice—a hybrid in a realm of its own. And like the inclusive surf community, skaters and skate artists span several generations,” said Carrie Lederer, Curator of the FULL DECK exhibit.
Skateboarding is a highly visual sport. Skateboard graphics resonate to skateboarders of all ages like old songs. Viewing the artwork, most skateboarders can tell you how old they were when they first saw the graphic, where they were, whom they were friends with and how it affected their lives.
When asked about what inspired FULL DECK’s exhibition in Chandler, Eric Faulhaber from Vision Gallery explains, “We are interested in leading our patrons into some questions about what constitutes validity for a work of art. Art is around us everyday through design, but yet people rarely alter their concept of what art is. Is art necessarily in a frame? Through our programming we want to assist in expanding and stretching the concept of identifying art in our everyday environment.”
FULL DECK: A Short History of Skate Art runs from Jan 21st – Mar 26th – with an opening reception on Jan 21st from 7-9 pm. This exhibit feature the work of renown artists Wes Humpston, Mark Gonzales, Jim Phillips, Pushead, Neil Blender, Skip Engblom along with the photography of Bryce Kanights, Tobin Yelland and Mofo.
Granted these names may seem foreign to sophisticated art aficionados but these artists are responsible for the visual history of skateboarding and have their own place in the pop art world. It’s great to see gallery curators and cities take note of the relevance of Skate Art in our culture.
Vision Gallery is located at 10 East Chicago Street, Chandler, AZ 85225 www.visiongallery.org
Gangplank will be taking a trip to view the exhibit during our Wednesday, February 16th brownbag at noon. Meet at Gangplank and we will walk over to Vision Gallery together.