Here, kitty-kitty!
Skateboarders! A scourge! A plague! A menace! Let’s raise them money! … huh?No, seriously!

If you hate skateboarders (as most of us do), you’ll donate money to create an irresistible trap (more on that later) that will lure them to the same spot where they’ll break their wrists, bang their heads, turn their ankles, and skin their knees … b’wah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Trust me, they’ll rue the day they ever conceived that skateboarding could be better than growing fat deposits playing video games, cruising for discarded leftovers at the mall food court, or watching TV judges mete out justice to deadbeats.

Years from now, we’ll mock them together: “You think you’re happy? Being active and living forever? You could have died early from heart disease, but noooooooo, you wanted to exercise, have fun, and learn the motion-potion-coordination that would lead to long-lasting sexual relationships well into middle age. You selfish skate rats! What has it gotten you except long lives, beautiful memories, and finely sculpted calves?”

That’s right. Nothing! Readers, you want in, don’tcha?

On Friday, Nov. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m., local art-savvy, homegrown, politically pugnacious sk8 shop Coalition is hosting a silent art auction, with proceeds benefiting the permanent, concrete skate park proposed for Santa Rosa Park. You get to buy some art, which will hang on your wall like an award commemorating how you sacrificed in the battle to contain four-wheeled mayhem. And “them?” They get a death trap!

“The skateboarding community has been trying to get a concrete skate park for years,” explained Coalition owner Jono Hicks. “The biggest success we had was when the plans for the park were approved by the city. But then came the budget cuts and the project fell on the backburner. It’s been frustrating, but over the last few years a lot of us have been trying to raise money from the community.”

Art for the sk8 park
During Art After Dark on Friday, Nov. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m., Coalition (974 Monterey St., SLO) will host a silent auction of original art (by John Copeland, Chris Pontius, Russ Pope, Peter Ayer, Alex Rohrig, Jonny Miller, Glen Starkey, and others) to raise funds for the SLO Skate Park. There’ll also be an art installation by INSIGHT garage artist Dethkills, grooves by DJ Malik Miko, and refreshments. A 10 p.m. after party for those 21-and-older will be held at Native Lounge.

The approved plan calls for $1.4 million, of which $900,000 has been secured through Parkland Development funding. That still leaves half a million dollars. I’m pretty sure you could upend every skateboarder in the county, give them a good shake, and be unable to get $500K out of them.

Look, it’s clear skaters can’t make a skate park happen on their own any more than kids can fund their own soccer, little league, or peewee football fields. Skate park proponents have been doing grassroots fundraising for a few years, and so far they’ve raised a dismal $5,200.

According to Hicks, the skateboarding community has given about as much as they have to give, hence the idea to raise funds among art lovers through a silent auction.

“Maybe that way we’d get the attention of another segment of the population and get our hands in some other pockets, so to speak,” said Hicks, who’s hoping the auction will remind people that it’s not just a skateboarder thing: It’s a youth sports and a parks and rec thing.

“Did you know one out of ten kids owns a skateboard in the U.S., and that it’s the sixth most participated in sport for kids under 18?” asked Hicks. “Giving money to the skate park should be like donating to little league. Local residents donated millions for the Damon-Garcia Sports Fields, and we don’t need nearly that much. All those kids that play soccer over there, they have skateboards; they’re skateboarders!”

Imagine it! They’re going to take the auction money and use it to build a skate park. I can hear the radius and ulna breaking now.

Glen Starkey takes a beating and keeps on bleating. Contact him at

The only way we can build a skatepark is if we “the people” raise the money.

The benefits and return on investment are endless. For better understanding I have listed below a quick description of the main points of how our community will be stoked with increased health & wellness for present & future generations:

• Health Benefits: Like all other sports and games skateboarding too has numerous health benefits. The sedentary lifestyle nowadays has caused an increase in obesity and other health related diseases amongst the youngsters. Skateboarding helps in increasing fitness levels while helping the skaters in losing excess weight and getting in shape. It improves the physical and cardiovascular health of the skaters. So, if you are looking forward to indulge in some activity which is entertaining as well as promotes fitness, then skateboarding is perfect for you.• Great way to make friends: Skateboarding is also a great way to make new friends and meet like minded people. Once you take up skateboarding, you will surely meet other skaters and it will not only increase your friend circle but you will also get to learn new tips and tricks pertaining to the sport. You can also train with a skateboarding partner which will help you in enhancing your performance and motivation levels.

• Can go Pro: Skateboarding is no longer only a recreational activity, it has been taken up professionally by many skateboarding enthusiasts. For becoming a professional skateboarder, you will need to practice regularly and have a proper training schedule. You can also learn the tricks of the trade by learning from a professional or veteran skateboarder. They can help you in learning the basics of skateboarding which is essential before you try to attempt any difficult tricks. By nature professional or veteran skaters train youngsters to help them in becoming professional skateboarders.

• Economical Sport: Skateboarding is relatively inexpensive compared to most other sports. The only thing you need to invest in before taking up this thrilling sport is a skateboard. Skateboards are easily available at affordable prices and as a beginner you need not invest in an expensive skateboard. You also do not require buying too many accessories. Just buy a basic protective gear and a skateboard to start with.

These Rad Artist are Painting Awesome Original Artwork on SLOCAL~ Rootamental Skateboards to Fund Raise for the SLO SKATEPARK.

Gather, garner, glean, harrow
Four painters come to fruition during the month of October

One month, start from scratch, and paint San Luis. It is new paintings, so it’s not just another show of our old work.” Artist and writer Eric Soderquist, his scruffy, golden beard hanging long, defines what Art Harvest is all about.

Within the ruins of the old Moondoggies board shop location in SLO is a quasi art space. Atop the blond hardwood floors, canvases lean against walls in four slightly designated areas. Most are finished, some barely out of their cellophane wrap. Empty Tecate beer cans and old coffee cups half filled with liquid rainbows are scattered about. A forgotten glass counter case with orphaned hats, sunglasses, and wallets serves as a reminder of what has come and gone.

The energy is immediate and raw.

“We thought it would be sick to have an art show in here … the idea was to harvest paintings for a month,” says Burl Vreeland, who, along with Peter Antonio, Katie Kramer, and Soderquist, participates in Art Harvest, a month-long cultivation period culminating with a party Oct. 29 to showcase more than 20 completed works.

“We chose each other because we bring energy to each other’s art,” said Soderquist. The deeply local group (all are lifelong residents of SLO County with the exception of Kramer), puts heavy stock in their opportunity to bounce ideas among them, a detail that’s just as important as the exhibit itself.

A common goal was to collectively limn the same thing for one piece; they chose the Mission, an inevitable subject after hearing the bells every day from their workspace.

Peter Antonio, 35, Arroyo Grande

He’s an avocado farmer and family man by day, painter by night. After joining the show, Antonio found inspiration from the simple things: a tree on the side of the road, and Hazards, a dangerous surf spot with a notoriously volatile wave. Not a surprise; he’s been a surfer since the tender age of 9.

Antonio has been laying paint to canvas for more than ten years in a unique, freeform style. With no sketch, Antonio revels in getting the imagery down on canvas, then scraping away, adding to, turning, and twisting the pigment, resulting in what he proudly presents as abstract landscapes.

In “Palisades” he finds the yin and yang of light and dark contrasts. “It has to be something more than just a landscape,” he explained. A sky and sea of perfectly patterned blues, whites, and devoutly impressionistic brushstrokes create the necessary movement. Although he hasn’t shown in a few years, he hopes others will be inspired by his work, and maybe buy a piece or two.

Four artists, one night!
The Art Harvest features work by Peter Antonio, Katie Kramer, Eric Soderquist and Burl Vreeland on display through Nov. 5 with a reception on Oct. 29 from 6-10 p.m. at 863 Monterey St. in SLO. This event is sponsored by Moondoggies Beach Club. For more information visit or call 295-0177.

Katie Kramer, 25, SLO

This Santa Ynez native is the lone woman, and probably the most formally trained in art of those in the group; at UCSB. Kramer, who has been painting since she could hold a brush, moved to SLO only a month ago, but has known the other artists for years through her boyfriend.

The blonde seems tailor-made for this show. Her art has always flowed from her surroundings; she takes pictures for inspiration wherever she goes. Her creative soul mates are the old neon signs and historic buildings of yesteryear. Oil rigs off the coast of Santa Barbara or longhorn cattle grazing among old telephone wires—these are the images that arrest and inspire her to paint.

Kramer’s various canvasses, one featuring the Fox Theatre in Paso Robles, another the Fremont in SLO, encompass small details. Her signature style is drippings that go on the piece before anything else, rising from the palette she mixes on the floor.

Eric Soderquist, 31, Shell Beach

Various makeshift paper palettes adorn the two-by-fours flanking both sides of the gallery, acting as easels for the artists. Soderquist’s landscapes are currently “blowing his mind” with their rich, layered, burnt oranges and dueling blues of the massive, clouded sky and Laguna Lake. There’s a poem featured in his rendering of the Mission, its original text written on the back of a Fed Ex Kinko’s bag during the rain storm a few weeks back.

His obsession is capturing the natural beauty of the Central Coast—the place where he lives, loves, and a part of the world he claims doesn’t change that much. His series also includes oil paintings of the Seven Sisters.

Like Antonio, Soderquist found his inspiration off the beaten path, observing peaks from the side of the road; the two even had a downtown SLO studio a few years back. Having just completed a book tour for the bestseller The California Surf Project, Soderquist’s next venture is a short film he’s written and produced.

Burl Vreeland, 25, SLO

Fiercely dedicated painter Vreeland is reminiscent of David Hockney: bright, primary colors, while bedding a serious photographic quality.

During Art Harvest, which succeeded a four-month painting hiatus, Vreeland attempted to change his style, but returned to his tried-and-true approach.

“I always go into it thinking I’m going to do it a certain way, and it never pans out, and in the end I go back to what I know how to do, and that is fine, because I love to paint.”

His latest output is heavily influenced by his recent move to downtown SLO from South County. There is a moment frozen in paint depicting a back alley behind Monterey and an architectural triptych of a pan of downtown, which Vreeland claims is out of his comfort zone. The artist unvaryingly emits stylish portraits of everyday life, speckled with silvery, shimmering stencils, large polka dots, and brick.

Come Oct. 29th and Invest in our Community.

New Skatepark & What skaters are saying about it: LINK

Current Skatepark

Official website:

NOT OVER THE HILL YET: Jonny Miller, Jono Hicks, and Scott Kam (left to right) are pushing for a new skate park in San Luis Obispo; one of the biggest challenges has been in organizing the skaters who will use it.
Read full story here

I found this awesome little video about how the skatepark under the Burnside Bridge in Portland, Oregon got created. It’s really cool to see a bunch of fed up skaters take matters into their own hands and make it happen. Back in the day, it was almost impossible to sell the idea of a free public skatepark to the city. Things are much better today. Skaters For Public Skateparks has been fighting the good fight for years and they’ve done a lot of the hard work for us.
Check out
They have it all there for you, free of charge. Everything from fundraising, to design, to legal angles are laid out in an easy to understand presentation. You should check it out and so we can make it happen in SLO Town.

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