Not that I am a skater by any means, but I totally understand why the Martha’s Vineyard Skate Park is an important part of our Island community. Whenever I drive by the park, there always seem to be people — especially kids — using it.
Come to find out after talking with Elaine Barse and Richard Meideiros of the Martha’s Vineyard Skate Park Association and the Green Room, there are about 4,000 kids a year who use it. That’s a big number, and let’s not forget about all the adults too.
Concrete For A 10 Year Anniversary
I don’t know much about skating, you won’t see me doing a half pipe any time soon, but I know people love it. If you’ve been to the skate park, you might notice that the ramps are made of something called Skatelite, which is made from plywood. This is all good for a place like Arizona but in a New England climate, it’s not that great.
So, over the past 10 years (Happy 10th Year Anniversary!), they have been continuously replacing planks. However, it’s just not financially possible to keep doing this.
So, it’s time to have the ramps made in concrete, and that’s what they’re working toward for 2014. This upgrade will also make the MV Skate Park one of the best on the East Coast.
Don’t worry, the park won’t be closed down. The project is going to take a while and will be done in phases. To complete the makeover, it will cost around $60,000 which is a lot to raise.
The Martha’s Vineyard Skate Park Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Yes, it’s a town park and Oak Bluffs contributes by trash pick-up and other light maintenance, but the rest falls on the association.
With the commitment to make the ramps concrete (the plans are ready), it’s time to get clever with fundraising. Elaine is also the owner of the Green Room in Vineyard Haven, and if you’ve been downstairs there, you know she’s committed to skateboarding. She has a lot of decks there (the part of the skateboard you stand on). She has new ones and used ones.
The Association was brainstorming about ways to raise money, and then it came to them. With an Island so full of talented artist, why not have artists paint a deck, that can then be auctioned off to raise the needed money? What a great idea! Art For The Park fundraiser is born.
The board members, Elaine Barse, Erik Albert, Richard Hammond, and Don Groover began reaching out to artists about the idea.
It was really well received, and as it turns out, a number of the artists either had skateboarded or where skateboarders. They were able to get a number of artists to say yes.
From Skateboard Deck to Decadent Island Art
The artist selected their decks (their canvas so to speak), some chose new, and some chose used, and got to work transforming their unique board work.
There are some amazing Island artists including Dan VanLandingham, Andrew Gordon Moore (both fine artists by trade), Trager DiPietro, Tara Kenney, Terry Crimmen the designer of this year’s Ag Fair poster, Patrick Lindsey, David Tierney, Andy Lowe, and even fine art photographer Christopher Wright.
So, the artists transformed their decks into amazing pieces of art, gallery worthy, and each so different. Remember, some of the artists involved have pieces that go for more than $10,000.
Once the boards were finished, the auction began. Opening bid is $300 per piece of art, and you can go up from there, or you can buy one immediately for $1,500. Andrew Moore’s deck is already at $1,300.
How can you bid on one of these amazing pieces? You can go to the Martha’s Vineyard Skate Park Facebook page, click here, or you can stop by the Green Room in Vineyard Haven where the decks are on display.
Bidding ends September 30th, 2013, so there is not a lot of time left for bids. Good luck!
With the Martha’s Vineyard Skateboard Park so well used by year-round kids and adults, it’s important that we help support it. This is not one of the non-profit organizations that resonates with the big donors of summer.
These volunteers are working hard to make the skate park safer and make it better for the next 10 years +. Even if you can’t buy a piece of Art for the Park, you can get a t-shirt, bumper sticker, or just make a donation, every dollar helps. You can do all this at the Green Room as well.
They MV Skate Park Association has raised $17,000 so far, and has a long way to go to reach $60,000. You can also find out more about the Martha’s Vineyard Skate Park and online bidding for Art for the Park on Facebook. And speaking of social media, don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, on follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest and YouTube. Also, a special thanks to Erik Albert for the photos of the kids at the MV Skate park and for a couple of the deck photos.