A truly unique art fundraiser, All Hands on Deck, returns to Beyond the Pale Brewery on Saturday June 22nd from 11am to 9pm. This free, all ages event is a silent-auction fundraiser in support of local not-for-profit organization For Pivots Sake which provides skateboards and lessons to underprivileged youth in the community.
Also featured at the brewery that day will be a “learn to skateboard” event for interested participants (skateboards and helmets provided for those adventurous souls) as well as a skateboard demo from some of Ottawa’s top skateboard talent. The event is put on thanks to the work of Daniel Martelock, Birling skateboard shop, and Beyond The Pale Brewery.
Through partnerships with Ottawa Community Housing and Pathways to Education, For Pivots Sake works to foster safe and healthy communities through skateboarding. While not immediately apparent to those outside of the sport, skateboarding is an ideal community building tool for urban youth as it fosters a sense of self-reliance within a well-documented subculture.
With the inaugural All Hands on Deck event taking place in May 2018 and covered on Apt613 here, this event features blank skateboard decks which are customized by local artists and auctioned off as one-of-a-kind art pieces. The journey of skateboards from toys in the garage to high art pieces has been underway for a number of years by now, but this show is and remains the largest skateboard art show of its type in Canada, and to my knowledge, North America.
Last year’s event had 180 artists customize 200+ boards which raised over $6,000 for For Pivots Sake—and the numbers this year are looking even better. 250 decks were part of the original release for the show and the demand was so great they were all spoken for within a matter of days. Local artist and show curator Daniel Martelock had considered releasing even more decks to interested artists but given space limitations in the venue, only the original run were provided.
In advance of the event, we here at APT613 have gotten together with a number of artists currently working on pieces for the show and asked them to speak to the experience for our readers:
Inspired by space and metaphysics, this aspiring professional artist is creating a bit of fan art for the show. After hearing about last year’s exhibition through social media channels they decided to take part in the 2019 edition. While normally working with acrylic on wood they found the jump to a skateboard deck quite interesting: “The board was way smoother than I’m used to. And I honestly loved it! Smooth is better for details and crisp lines—like I do!”
Astral Orphan Working on their Sailor Moon themed board. “I have never done fan art before but for some reason I pictured Sailor Moon on the board and couldn’t shake it.”
Tanya Henriquez Desbarats
Tanya, a local artist and animation student, approached the project with an introspective focus. “After a new painting, a new part of myself is discovered. Being able to express that to other people makes me feel very vulnerable, and I think we need a little more of that in the world.” Tanya is quick to point out how thankful she is for BTP and Birling for providing her a way to share her art.
Ian Roy and Max Caspi-Roy
A father and son team, Ian and Max have been collaborating on projects since Max was around 10 years old and this is just one more step in the collaborative process for them. Skateboarding has been a staple in both their lives for a long time. Ian reflected on the profound and continual effect skateboarding has had on his life: “Even though I am an old man, I still navigate the world very much as a skateboarder. I apply lessons I’ve learned from skateboarding to everything I do including writing and teaching.”
For Max, the connection to skateboarding is a little more pronounced: “I can truly say I have been skating for my entire life. When I was born my dad carried me out of the hospital on his board…” Both men have modified their screen-printing practice to work with the curved surface of the underside of the board through some trial and error.
All Hands on Deck 2019 is happening June 22nd at Beyond the Pale Brewery (#106 – 250 City Centre Ave). The event is free, all ages and the venue is wheelchair accessible. however, there is no wheelchair accessible washroom. There will be a number of festivities throughout the day including the silent auction. Food and beverages, including alcohol, will be available for purchase.