Art on deck for skaters

Local artists design, donate skateboard decks for silent auction to benefit skate days at Epworth.
May 1, 2013
Junior Dimaio of Lewes performs a flip trick during a Sk8 Day at Epworth United Methodist Church two years ago. BY RON MACARTHUR

With a silent auction of skateboard designs by local artists, a poster competition and a Sk8 Day at Epworth United Methodist Church on deck this weekend, right now a good time to be a skateboarder in the Cape Region.

On Saturday, May 4, Big Chill Surf Cantina on Route 1 will host a fundraiser to support of a Sk8 Park at Epworth UMC in advance of an open skate day to be held at the church on Sunday.

Skate days at Epworth have grown from a semi-annual occasion to a regular event at the church, and as it has grown, so has support for the mission to provide skateboarders of all ages with a safe place to ride, said organizer and skate-day supporter Susan Selph.

"The support for skateboarding seems to really span generations now," she said. "Its really nice to see."

While the ultimate goal of the local skate community is to one day have a permanent skate park, residents of the Cape Region, members of Epworth UMC and the local business community have come together to support the movement.

As one of the biggest supporters of the Sk8 Park at Epworth UMC, Derek Shockro, owner of Liquid Board Shop and the Big Chill Surf Cantina on Route 1 last year hosted the first fundraiser in support of the park at his businesses.

Last year the funds raised went to expand existing ramps, and this year, the ramps will be resurfaced, Shockro said.

"This is to try to replenish the ramps at Epworth with durable material until some kind of concrete, year-round permanent park is opened," he said. "That is an expensive endeavor. Right now the ultimate short-term goal is to get these ramps replenished."

To aid the fundraising, local artists have jumped in as collaborators, donating their artistic abilities by decorating dozens of skateboards for a silent auction this weekend.

Saturday events at The Big Chill will include the judging of a poster contest to illustrate "The Art of Skateboarding" along with an auction for nearly 25 skateboard decks that were provided by Liquid and passed out to supporting artists.

Jewelry designer Heidi Lowe created a periwinkle blue deck with gemstones while her mother, Colleen Lowe, a Cape High art teacher created a fairy-themed deck to show support for the project.

"It was really fun to create a design for this," Heidi said. "A deck is so different from your usual canvas."

The results will be on display by 3 p.m. May 4 for a silent auction later that evening at the Big Chill Surf Cantina, and the poster winner is expected to be announced that evening. Sk8 Day will be in the parking lot of Epworth United Methodist Church at 19285 Holland Glade Road from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.

For more information, visit the Epworth Sk8 Park webpage at; search 'Skate Epworth' Facebook or call Liquid Boardshop at 302-227-7130.

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