Shreveport Regional Arts Council

Funding Received: 2013
Shreveport, LA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
January 28, 2014

Rich Table chefs Evan and Sarah Rich

The New Year began in Shreveport Common with the welcoming of skateboarding legend Steve Olson, who began his six-week Artist Residency. Olson is staying busy in the community with workshops, exhibitions, school presentations, and, of course, UNSCENE! Olson will unveil his “Skateable Sculptures,” artistically designed and crafted skate ramps for the February 15 UNSCENE! Olson is working with a team of local artists (Taffie Garsee, Jeormie Journell, Ben Moss, and Mary Catherine Rollo) to create this project.

At the intersection of Elvis Presley Boulevard and Texas Avenue in Shreveport Common, skateboarders and non-skateboarders will meet for an extreme, never before seen art experience that will change perceptions about skateboarding and show how art is transforming Shreveport Common.

Olson will also introduce a new exhibition at artspace “Generationless: Skateboarders Are Artists, Too.” The exhibit will open in mainspace @ artspace on January 31 and continue until March 29, 2014. The exhibit features original artworks by nine artists who also happen to be professional and amateur skateboarders from the 1970s to the aughts. Steve Olson, David Hackett, Tim Kerr, Jason Jessee, Lance Mountain, Neal Blender, Brian Lotti, Clint Peterson, and Dennis McNett will present a collection of skate-inspired art that includes hand crafted and designed paintings, photography and more. Local artists will also design and display their original skate decks. To involve everyone, on January 25 Olson will create the exhibition “wall paper” by creating a paint slip and slide in which kids will “become the paintbrushes” in “Kids Breaking Rules.”

Recent Wins
In 2014 we are certainly winning. Not only do we have Steve Olson in town, but also we are anxiously preparing for the San Francisco Rich Table culinary artist Evan Rich to arrive. “Rich Table” is the culinary vision conceived by chefs Evan and Sarah Rich and sommelier, Maz Naba featuring farm-to-table, locally grown, fresh food purchased from local ranchers. With more than three decades of combined experience in San Francisco and New York high-end restaurants, the team brings with them a wealth of talent, knowledge of quality foods and wine, and connections with the best farms and purveyors.

Rich Table officially begins their Artist Residency in June, but the planning is already underway. The Shreveport Regional Arts Council is reaching out to potential stakeholders and partners to invite them to attend and work with “Rich Table” at UNSCENE! in June. This includes social service organizations, local restaurants, culinary schools, grocery and health food stores, farmers, meat producers and more. “Rich Table” will help to educate the community on the topics of gardening and urban farming in order to promote healthy lifestyles.

UNSCENE! being unbound allows us to uncover the unseen areas and people in Shreveport Common. Steve Olson’s arrival brings forth a new experience and opportunity for the community and the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. We are giving local skateboarders a place to belong in Shreveport Common with “Skateable Sculptures,” a temporary public art piece that is functional. The skate ramp defies the many limitations put upon skateboarders through signs like “No Skateboarding Allowed.” We are disproving the negative stigma that skateboarding ruins parks and communities. Olson’s work in UNSCENE! and “Generationless: Skateboarders Are Artists, Too” exhibition at artspace allows for those who are not familiar with the niche community of skateboarding and extreme sports to learn its depth and influence. In this series, we are elevating skateboarding to an art form and welcoming skateboarders to participate.

These series of events also serves as a reminder that art is not bound by canvas. It is in the design of a skateboard deck and ramp. It is found in every flip, grind and slide a skateboarder takes. Nor is an artist limited to one artistry. Singers may be painters. Sculptors may be actors. Musicians may be poets. In UNSCENE! and Shreveport Common, our goal is to create an avenue for artists to explore and share all of their many talents. The goal is to create vibrancy, and our artists are making this happen while leaving an indelible mark on Shreveport Common.

For more information on upcoming UNSCENE! happenings, visit www.unsceneshreveport.com. For more information about the exhibitions and programming at artspace featuring Steve Olson, visit www.artspaceshreveport.com.