Durham art space teams up with Pittsboro skateboard park advocates

Aug. 15, 2014 @ 04:53 PM

Local nonprofit groups have auctioned painted chairs and painted violins to raise money. Now a group of volunteers seeking to build a skate park in Pittsboro is auctioning skateboards painted by local artists to raise money for the project.

The boards are on view and open for bids (which begin at $50) at SPECTRE Arts in Durham through Aug. 29, when the auction winners will be announced. About 50 local artists painted boards for the fundraiser in various media. “We’ve got paint, we’ve got line drawing … we’ve got one guy who shredded it into pieces … we’ve got collage -- as long as it involves a skateboard you can do whatever you want with it,” said Jeremy Lange, a member of the skate park committee and one of the founders of SPECTRE Arts. Lange painted one of the boards with the help of a friend.
Visual artist Erika Wilson has two skateboards in the auction and contributed to a previous art fundraiser for the skate park. She praised local artists for pitching in to help the skate park, and the park committee. “This group of guys, they spend all their extra time just to get this together,” Wilson said.
The town of Pittsboro has given the organizers land on McClenahan Street to build the park. The land is across from the Chatham County schools office and has basketball and tennis courts. Organizers need to raise between $280,000 and $300,000 to build the park, Wilson said. They have raised about $70,000 from concerts and previous art shows, she said.
The chief reason for building a skate park is to promote safety, Wilson said. Statistics show fewer injuries in skate parks than skateboarding on public streets. They also get good use, she said, which anyone who visits Durham’s skate park in Central Park can attest to. “It’s not like an empty basketball court, where you have to have all your friends at the same time” to get a pickup game, she said. “You can go your own pace. It just works.”
Lange has been a skateboarder for 25 years, and likes the freedom of the sport. “You can ride a skateboard any way you want,” he said. “There’s a large sense of camaraderie among skateboarders, particularly among those of us who started before it was as popular as it is today,” he said.
For information about this project, visit pittsboroskatepark.com.

WANT TO BID?

WHAT: Painted skateboards silent auction

WHERE: SPECTRE Arts, 1004 Morning Glory Ave., Durham
WHEN: Boards are on view for bid until Aug. 29. The gallery will be open then from 6 to 10 p.m. For other times or to set up an appointment, call 919-213-1441 or visit www.spectrearts.org.