Wild ride skateboard auction glides into Akron

By: Emily Poor

For the past week, skateboards have been appearing on the walls outside the printmaking studio in the upper atrium gallery at the Myers School of Art. Students are still turning in skateboards for the third-annual Wild Ride Skateboard auction, and the collection is anticipated to reach over 100 skateboards.

The display will remain in Folk Hall for two weeks and then will be moved to the Honors College, where the public will be able to bid on the skateboards from Oct. 17-28. The opening bids start between $25 and $50. A closing reception will take place on the first floor of the Honors College on Friday, Oct. 28 from 5-7 p.m.

Printmaking professor Hui-Chu Ying coordinated the auction and encouraged students to participate in the event.

“We have talented students who want to do projects outside of class. They can express themselves and do whatever they want with this project,” Ying said. “The great part of it is that the skateboard is a ready-made canvas.”

The money raised from skateboard bids will go toward Akron’s printmaking program, which funds student travel and visiting artist lectures and presentations. The program hopes to send 10-15 students to the Southern Graphic Council International (SGCI) Conference in March in New Orleans. The printmaking program strives to earn money by selling artwork made by students through events such as the Lantern Festival and the Akron Art Museum Holiday mART. The skateboard auction raised $1,400 last year.

“I have been looking forward to the auction since last year,” said sophomore Sarah Ellis, who contributed a painted skateboard to the auction. “I was able to experiment with stuff I can’t do in class. Since it’s unstructured, I can express my opinions about design and display my personal aesthetic.”

“I started with a white board, which was a clean slate with so many options,” junior Art Education major Zafi Ahmed said, describing the process of creating her skateboard. “I wanted an intricate design, and I was inspired by Indian bridal henna designs and colors. I used spray paint, and then drew on top of it.”

“It was a learning experience. Since the skateboard is a different surface, you need to work with the curves. I carved into my skateboard with a Dremmel, following the wood grain, and then used a black stain,” said photography major Nicolette Gober.  “The display was unified and brought the entire art school together. It inspires you to do things differently.”

Auction bidders can not only help fund the printmaking program, but also support individual students by purchasing artwork from a young, emerging artist.

“Buying a skateboard is worthwhile because it’s a one-of-a-kind piece from a student,” said advanced printmaking student and Photography major Carly Whiteleather.