The Skate Unity fundraiser, hosted by The Youth Shelter Supply (YSS), started on March 24 and ran through Saturday evening, April 1 at The White Horse in downtown St. Cloud. For the 11th year, the event marks an opportunity for local artists to showcase their skills while helping others in the community.
YSS handed out blank skateboards for artists to design on and the finished products were put up for sale during a silent auction all week.
All of the money raised from the auction this year will go towards the St. Cloud Skate Camp – a free summer camp for kids learning to skate. We caught up with some of the artists to find out more about their motives and designs.
Art was something which was long a part of many of the artist’s lives, and the event gave them an opportunity to further express themselves.
Madison Holler, a St. Cloud State Fine Arts major said, “I have always had an interest in the arts, ever since a young age.”
For another artist, Scotty Munster, art translated from his childhood into his job. “I’ve been a tattoo artist for nearly 20 years. I create art every day,” he said.
Trevor Muzik, another tattoo artist, went to college at Moorhead State and received a degree in illustration. All three have been creating boards for the event for multiple years. The longest contributor to the fundraiser, Muzik, said, “we at Olde Town Tattoo, have been contributing boards for the past nine to ten years.”
With all of the proceeds from their work going to support the skate camp, motives for donating their art varied. For Munster, it was his past experiences as a skateboarder which has motivated him to contribute over the years.
“I’ve been into skateboarding since middle school, and the art on skateboards has always been a great source of interest and inspiration for me,” Munster said.
The same was the case for Muzik, who also skateboarded in high school before losing interest. But for Holler, the reasoning was motivated by the benefits kids can get from skateboarding.
“Keeping kids engaged in physical activities and building new tribes of good people is always a positive in my book,” Holler said.
The St. Cloud Skate Camp will be held at the St. Cloud Skate Plaza which opened as a free park in 2010. Since then, the park has been a popular site for skaters of all ages.
Lastly, we asked the artists about the designs which appeared on their boards for the auction. Holler mentioned she has been working on graphic design and printmaking recently, so her design this year is less “painterly” than in past years. Regardless, the board was created to help send a feminist message.
“This was my way of making a piece to resonate with the rise in female empowered speech and art that we have been seeing more of lately,” Holler said.
As for Munster, his design was created using a method similar to vehicle wrap. Admittedly, Munster felt the design, which depicts a snowman pulling a rodent from its heart, was a darker theme which went well with the “cute” style in which he paints.
“The painting symbolizes winter coming to an end, as the snowman is dying. The baby rodent symbolizes spring as it’s killing winter,” Munster said.
Muzik made his design based on his recent trip to Mexico. It depicts a woman who he said was based on a cultural design element, “from a Lady Guadalupe religious image.” He thought it also helped to have the design be vertical as he knew that would be how the boards would be displayed during the auction.
The Skate Unity silent auction came to an end on April 1. In total, the event was able to raise $2,175 for this summer’s skate camp.