An entire sub-culture made-up of individuals who value creativity and freedom of expression has found a way to display its artistic side, or should we say underside, by using skateboard decks as a blank canvas.
The hidden underside of skateboards, commonly called decks, will be on display when “Full Deck” comes to the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art. The exhibition opens at the Cal State San Bernardino museum Feb. 18 and runs through April 21. An opening reception will take place on Feb. 16 from 6-8 p.m.
The show is an anthology of skate art from the 1960’s to the present. Close to 300 decks borrowed from artists, skaters, and companies from across the country will be on display at RAFFMA.
“The eye-catching images on the bottom of a skateboard are one of the purest forms of selfexpression: highly personal and mostly created without artistic boundaries—just like skateboarding itself,” says exhibit curator Carrie Lederer. She is curator of exhibitions and programs at the Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.
“Since the first graphic was drawn onto a board, the culture of skateboarding has grown handin-hand with visual arts.”
The exhibition features historic decks from private collections, unique hand-painted decks, commercial boards, photography, painting, prints, sculpture, and video.
Nationally-known pro skater, Corey Duffel, who was raised in Walnut Creek, contributed selections from his private collection to the show. It is travelling from the Bedford to museums, galleries and universities across North America.
The exhibit 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.” The show also has a collection of early boards, circa 1960, on loan from pro skater Sam Cunningham, and 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.” A selection of skate photography by Bryce Kanights, Tobin Yelland and others will also be on view.