Visual Arts

"Hit the Deck" Show Brings Skateboard Art Back to First Friday in Downtown Phoenix

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See also: Pyramid Country Presents Phoenix Skate/Art Video "Couchlock Odyssey" Classic Phoenix Skateboard Spots Featured in Thrasher Magazine

The month-long showcase, which is on display through the end of July at the smallish gallery inside vegan eatery Aside of Heart, will feature 30-plus skateboard decks (sans wheels and trucks) that were used as canvases by more than two-dozen local artists.

Customized and decorated decks have always been a big thing in the skater world, as artists and graphic designers like Neckface, Jimbo Phillips, and Michael Sieben are famous for creating board art for manufacturers and publications like Thrasher.

Bates says that he's been a fan of skateboard artists and their creations for companies like Zero Skateboards or Hook-Ups.

"In high school, I'd always get copies of the CCS magazine and check out at all the boards," he says.

Many of the artists involved in Hit the Deck, Bates explains, either share this fandom for board art or are skaters themselves. Others were down with turning one of the rectangular wooden boards into a piece of unique artwork.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.