Thirty local artists join for DNA Galleries' anniversary exhibit, creating skateboard art meant to ride your walls 

Custom Longboard Show
7-11 p.m. Friday
DNA Galleries
1705 B N.W. 16th

As skaters grow up and the laws of physics catch up with them, many turn to longboards to continue carving out asphalt while minimizing the chance of shedding blood for the sport they love.

DNA Galleries revives last year's ode by inviting 30 local artists to customize decks for its second anniversary show during Friday's "Live on the Plaza!"

Designed for gliding, rather than flipping, longboards started as little more than surfboards on wheels, so they appeal to those who want to skate with minimal chances for serious injuries.

"When I was much younger, I used to ride a skateboard and I find the longboard much easier," art collector Benny Jacobs said. "It's a very fun thing to ride, like a cruiser, like the Cadillac version of a skateboard."

Buying three boards last year, he considers the show a favorite annual event. It's one where he knows he won't go home empty-handed. The longboards' different shapes and sizes make for an interesting canvas for artists to experiment with, said Jacobs.

"The longboard appeals to me because it's not really an easy medium to work with, as opposed to a canvas," he said.

DNA Galleries co-owner Amanda Bradway dreamt up the show because of her love for longboarding. She admitted she hadn't planned on putting on another show, and instead wanted to change the subject matter for each anniversary, but the demand for the customized decks was substantial enough to change her mind.

"Any time you do art on something that isn't a typical canvas, there is an appeal," she said. "We had tons of people come in throughout the year and ask about the show. They had either come to the show or heard about it or were artists wanting to participate if we chose to do it again."

Because of the surprising level of interest, she is working with sponsors Arbor, Sector 9 and Flip'd Action Sports to make it an annual tradition. She anticipates prices ranging from $100 to $800, so she doubts anyone would slap wheels and ride any of the art.

Jacobs echoed the sentiment that the boards are meant for walls, not for asphalt, but added that they make a statement in a way a canvas cannot.

"Any time someone comes into my house and sees the longboard "? something they typically only see someone riding down the road on "? the first question is, 'Is it real'?" Jacobs said. "Of course it's real. I could put wheels on it and ride it down the road, but that would make for one really expensive longboard." "?Charles Martin

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