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Deck Art Returns to Downtown Rochester

More than 230 artists from Metro Detroit deck downtown with skateboard art on May 16-17.

Skateboards aren't just for riding.

Already an ideal canvas for artists and designers to create stunning works depicted on pro skaters' boards, Rochester's Deck Art 2013 puts skateboards in the hands of more than 230 area artists, whose work will be display at more than 45 downtown businesses from May 16-17.

In its third year in Rochester, Deck Art 2013 is a skateboard art competition and exhibition, where artists provide unique art using skateboard decks as a canvas.

For $20, artists receive a board to take home and decorate, said Linda Gallaher of South Street Skateshop. The decks are then returned between May 6-12 and exhibited beginning May 16.

Gallaher said she and Christine Laikind, of the former Firebrick Gallery & Pottery Studio, came up with the idea for Deck Art in 2011.

"She was involved with art and we were involved with skateboarding and skateboarding and art go hand in hand," Gallaher said. "We decided to collaborate and do Deck Art 2011 at the time."

Gallaher said skateboard decks provide a compelling canvas for artists.

"It speaks to the times," Gallaher said. "It's 2013. People want to do something edgy, no matter how old they are."

Gallaher said the artists involved with Deck Art aren't necessarily skateboarders themselves.

"Ninety-nine percent of the artists that we have registered have never stood on a skateboard before," she said.

Food trucks join Deck Art 2013

According to Gallaher, this year's event will feature some tasty additions with four food trucks along Fourth Street. The selections include:

May 16:

  • El Guapo
  • Mac Shack
  • Green Zebra
  • Concrete Cuisine

May 17:

  • Corridor Sausage
  • Ned's Travel Burger
  • Green Zebra
  • Concrete Cuisine

"Rochester's never had food trucks before and people are so excited," she said. "Because it's festive and it's something different for Rochester."

Gallaher said the idea for food trucks spawned from her time in Portland, OR, where she said food trucks were "everywhere."

The food trucks will be open both during the event's May 16 kickoff and on May 17. The official competition and exhibition crawl take place 5-9 p.m. on May 17. Attendees can pick up official "Crawl" maps at South Street Skateshop and works will be judged in a variety of categories with winners named on the second day of the event.  

A list of participating businesses who will display Deck Art can be found at DowntownRochesterMI.com. Winning artists will be listed on the official Deck Art website, southstreetskatepark.com, after May 17. All artists have the option to sell their artwork. Specific details can be found listed next to each deck.

For more information, contact the Rochester DDA at (248) 656-0060 or South Street Skateshop at (248) 651-0555.

This story was updated at 11:25 a.m. on April 29 to reflect a recent change to the event's food truck lineup.

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