By Ryan Hester |Staff Writer|
The underground skating scene has made its way to the surface as scintillating skate decks fill the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art at CSUSB.
“Full Deck: A Short History of Skate Art” is a traveling exhibition that features beautiful artwork on an unorthodox canvas: skateboard decks. The exhibition also presents the fascinating history of skate art from the 1960s to present day.
“The skate artist’s aesthetic— raw, passionate and personal— is energized by a devotion to the act of skating and a DIY embrace of the skate culture,” said Carrie Lederer, curator of the exhibition.
The exhibit contained about 300 skateboard decks, photographs, original artwork and videos. It features some amazing work from artists such as Justin Forbes, Skip Engblom, Ken Davis, Mike Kershnar, Evan Hecox, Andy Jenkins and other artists from across the globe.
“It speaks to a wide generation,” said Andrea Callahan, RAFFMA’s public relations coordinator, “People began skating in the 1960s and now it’s being used in clothing and movies as a main part of our culture.”
The exhibition brought a new sense of modern art to a very receptive crowd, challenging tried-and-true ideals of what art is and what it should be. The exhibit’s main goal is to shine a new light on what skateboarding really is and also what we define as art.
“Where do we draw the line between art?” said John Fleeman, the exhibition’s designer, “Just because it’s something different or unusual to us does not mean that it cannot be art.”
Patrons got a feel for the artists’ passion for the skating world, which was expressed on their canvases. The praise transcended age groups, and even people who had no clue about the skating world were enthralled by the artwork.
“With this show we wanted some art that would attract a younger audience because it’s hard to get kids here to look at contemporary art or old art without the schools bringing them,” said Eva Kirsch, the museum’s director.
“About two and a half years ago I noticed the show. We liked it but we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into because we didn’t understand it, but it seems to be a success.”
The exhibit is proof that the culture of skateboarding has grown into a global cultural movement. It has joined with visual arts movement to create a unique and special blend of sports and art.
The exhibit will run from Feb. 18–April 21, so there will be plenty of time to stop by the RAFFMA to experience the exhibit.
To coincide with the art show, there will be a movie screening of “Dogtown and Z Boys” on Feb. 23 and an exciting skate demonstration hosted by Active on April 14.
Also, graphic artist Todd Francis, who has created boards for Element and Real Skateboards will be coming to CSUSB on March 6 for an inspiring lecture and workshop session.
With the show being such a success on opening night, there is no doubt that this show will become an integral part of the CSUSB experience and is something that should not be missed.
For more information call 909-537-7373 or go to raffma.csusb.edu