By Kim Dailey |Staff Writer|
Skateboard artist Mike Kershnar was featured at CSUSB’s Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art (RAFFMA) on Saturday, April 14 for a Skate and Art Demo. The demo was a free public event held from 2–5 p.m. It featured art, skating, music, sticker-making, tattoos and more.
Orange County native Kershnar has been skating and painting since a very young age.
“I started to skate pipeline in the ‘80s in Upland when I was just a super little [kid]. In 1st or 2nd grade I was really attracted to skating and I liked that the board graphics on the bottom of a skateboard kind of defined what the culture was about to me and it was very appealing, so I always just skated and drew and they are both now just a big part of my life,” said Kershnar.
He considers himself a “primitive expressionist” – someone who communicates his feelings or thoughts through a pattern.
“It can be hard to find a job where you can share your unique voice with the world and with art you can have visual representation of what you feel about everything, so I feel really lucky to get to pursue that. Basically, my job is to speak my voice to an audience that may or may not be listening, but, well, it seems like they are,” said Kershnar.
While Kershnar was spray painting one of his favorite animals, a coyote, on a 15 by 10 foot canvas, amateur skaters from all around – that is, those who signed the waiver first – skated the ramps provided by Active Ride Shop.
Local skater Jesse Perez came, skateboard in hand, to check out what the event was about. “I like to skate and see the different artwork on the boards and watch the different skaters skate,” said Perez.
Tables were set up with stickers and markers so skaters could create customized artwork that made their own skateboards unique.
Cousins Logan Boelder, 7, and Marek Bitnar, 10, were at the sticker tables. When asked why they came out to this event Boelder said, “I just want to skate! I like to do ollies!”
“I like how a board can do tricks under you like a bike can’t,” said Bitnar.
The boys were brought to the event by Bitnar’s dad, who had heard about the event on local rock station KCXX 103.9. The station had a booth and was live-streaming music for the amateur skaters to have something to skate to in the mobile skate park.
Active Ride Shop brought ramps, stairs, multiple boxes and rails for skaters to skate in the courtyard of RAFFMA. They also offered a choice of washable tattoos, which proved very popular with the younger crowd that attended.
Student Kristi Shawhan stood by watching the skaters in the mobile skate park. “I longboard and skate around campus. That is how I travel from class to class,” said Shawhan.
The Skate and Art Demo was a special event that brought newcomers to check out the “Full Deck” art show that had artwork by artist Mike Kershnar on display.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend this event or see the “Full Deck” artwork exhibit on display in the RAFFMA museum, which ends April 21, RAFFMA is going to have a catalog of artwork that will be available for purchase.
Photos by Kim Dailey