7ply: The Art of Skateboarding Opens at Price TowerSkateboarding has been described as being halfway between athleticism and artistic expression and since it's inception has captured the imagination and passion of people across the globe. Passion that carries well beyond the act of skating and spills out into every medium across the artistic spectrum.
Enter the coming 7ply: The Art of Skateboarding exhibition at Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. According to guest curator Ryan Crane, the exhibition is intended to "explore the relationship between the worlds of art and skateboarding. It will examine the powerful impact skateboarding has on the life of those who grow up on the streets or on their boards," he said.
"“7ply” refers to the seven layers of wood that comprises a skateboard, while providing an expression of a skater’s life struggles, overcoming them on the board, and then emoting their stories through art. It will challenge stereotypes and demonstrate how skateboarding has a deep-rooted influence on and by the arts."
The exhibition features the work of 50+ accomplished artists from around the world. Their stories are told through the lens of skateboarding and signature decks that each has created especially for this show.
Featured artist Christy Weezer says that the art cannot be separated from the act of skating.
"Skateboarding has effected art with its outsider force, and art for the people's motifs. There is something about skateboarding that is alluring to artists. It could be its individualistic nature but with a connection to a greater group" she said.
"Our personalities are drawn to that methodology-we make art in solitude, but are part of a larger movement."
7ply artist Andy Thompson goes so far as to compare the motion of skateboarding with the act of creating. "Whether I am making a mark on a page or grinding a curb, I feel more connected to myself and the present moment when I am creating" he says.
The show will run from May 18 through August 26 and will include both skater and family activities as well as the art exhibition
The Price Tower Arts Center is Frank Lloyd Wright’s only realized skyscraper, built in 1956. It is a National Historic Landmark and listed on the registry of Historic Hotels of America. Bringing thousands of visitors annually from across the state, nation and world, it is as unique draw due its significance to architectural culture and history. In 2017, it was the first site in Oklahoma to receive the Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern Award for the preservation of mid-century architecture.
“We are really looking forward to having an exciting event and hope everyone can come and experience it” Crane said.