Full Deck | A Short History of Skate Art

Exhibition Dates:

Full-Deck-images&titleAmerican Series 2011 | Warner Gallery

organized by Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California

October 1, 2011 – January 8, 2012

Opening Reception|Friday, October 7, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Skate Day! | Sunday, October 16 | Noon – 4:00 p.m.

Featuring demonstrations by Don Pendleton, skater and graphic designer for the skateboarding industry

The SBMA’s 2011 American Series exhibition delves into contemporary American youth culture in a very real way, presenting an anthology of skate art from the 1960’s to the present. Over 300 skateboard decks borrowed from artists, skaters, and companies from across the country will be on display, along with dozens of photographs, other original artwork, videos, and related skate culture paraphernalia.

Full Deck was organized and curated by Carrie Lederer, Curator of Exhibitions and Programs at the Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California and is traveling to museums, galleries and universities across North America.

Ms. Lederer states:

The multi-media skate art community fosters a highly unique blend of, painting, photography, video, music, stickers, magazines, and clothing – the ever-growing creative by-products stemming from this popular sport and alternative mode of transportation. The eye-catching images on the bottom of these skateboards are one of the purest forms of self-expression: highly personal and mostly created without artistic boundaries – just like skateboarding itself.

The skate artist’s aesthetic — raw, passionate, and personal — is energized by a devotion to the act of skating and a DIY embrace of skate culture … 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, 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.

The exhibition includes elegant one-of-a-kind hand-stained decks by Skip Engblom, co-founder of Zepher Skate Shop and profiled in the Hollywood film Lords of Dogtown. A collection of early boards, circa 1960, are on loan from pro skater Sam Cunningham, as well as a broad range of now rare commercial decks (Element, enjoi, Krooked, etc.) from the collection of Mark Whiteley, Editor of SLAP magazine in San Francisco. Jason Strubing, owner of Skateworks in Santa Cruz, also contributed a large selection of significant and historic decks from his collection. Metro Skate (Pleasant Hill), StreetCorner Skate (San Francisco), and Thrasher magazine (San Francisco) also loaned skate art to Full Deck. Nationally known pro skater Corey Duffel contributed selections from his private collection. A selection of skate photography by Bryce Kanights, Tobin Yelland and others will also be on view.

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