Sometimes the routine of life can be monotonous. Eat, sleep, work, eat, go home.
Luckily some of us have the means and opportunity to jet out of town and visit different cities. You come back energized and the change of pace adds more perspective to your life.
You got a breath of fresh air.
What about the young person who’s never left their neighborhood, their city, or this country?
The few miles between home, school, and the occasional visit to a relative on the other side of town often defines their world.
It dawned on me… STOKED is literally expanding the geographical boundaries of students by taking them to different locations in our programs. Then I thought about it a bit more.
The students in STOKED for more than 2 years tend to take opportunities to travel.
They are often the ones who choose to go away to college and end up joining programs that enable them to visit places such as Ghana, Japan, or Italy!
So it was no surprise that Marito, a 17 year old Los Angeles Stoker ended up in NYC for a few days.
Fresh off a 10 month youth exchange program in Turkey (he was 16 at the time), Marito needed a place to stay for a few days in New York. I hooked him up with long time STOKED supporters Dan & Allison Bealey who live in Brooklyn.
Quick side note: Dan is our longest active volunteer and was the 2009 Volunteer of the Year.
Marito’s brother Kevin is a Stoked Alumn. When Kevin went off to college, Marito jumped right into the STOKED community as a freshman in high school.
He got a mentor, snowboarded, skated and surfed and even made a magazine with STOKED and Nike one summer. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.
He is set to graduate high school this next year and go to college.
Check out pictures of him in NYC. A very big thank you to Dan and Allison for opening their home and looking after Marito for 4 days!
Today’s Stoked on Spring Spotlight features the collaborative skate deck by Tim Young and Stoker Brittany. This deck, as well as 14 others that were also made by professional artist and youth pairs, will be available for bidding at the event’s silent auction along with several fine art pieces on May 16th at the Scholastic Greenhouse. All proceeds from the event will directly support our after-school program, Stoked Plus: Skateboard Build, in which students make a skateboard deck from scratch, completely by hand.
Tim Young is a renowned iPhoneographer recognized for his signature black-and-white shots celebrating the often overlooked details of day-to-day life in New York City, and in particular, Brooklyn, his home base. Recently, two of his images of the Brooklyn Bridge were among the 200 (out of 10,000 submissions) selected for exhibit in the first-ever International iPhoneography Show at the Soho Gallery of Digital Art. The exhibit was sponsored by MacPhun LLC and FX Photo Studio. An artist, illustrator and graphic designer with 20+ years of experience, Tim has lent his expertise to such national and international clients as Disney Resorts, Inter-Continental Hotels, Lowes Home Improvement, Michelin Tire and Combi Juvenile Products.
Brittany attends the Institute for Collaborative Education, where she participated in the Stoked Plus: Skateboard Build program. She also learned to snowboard this winter through the Snow Mentor program. She said that making this board with Tim makes her feel extremely proud because she would “love to see Stoked after-school programs in many more schools because teenagers in high school should have the experience that I had. Being a part of Stoked made me feel a part of a big community where everyone can count on one another.”
For this collaborative deck, Brittany and Tim looked through a variety of photographs to decide on the imagery for the board. They also utilized song lyrics to come up with a word or phrase to use with the imagery. Brittany conceptualized having colorful paint dripping down the board as part of the design, and Tim showed Brittany his iPhonography for more design ideas to come up with bird imagery. After bouncing ideas off each other, Tim sketched out the design on the board and they both painted the colorful drips of paint and white birds on the deck together.
Buy tickets to Stoked on Spring to bid on this deck. If you’re not able to attend, please consider making a donation to Stoked to support its youth development programs. Don’t forget to check in on Monday for the next Stoked on Spring Spotlight!
Stoked on Spring, Stoked’s annual fundraiser on Wednesday, May 16th at the Scholastic Greenhouse, is less than one week away! Today’s Stoked on Spring Spotlight features the collaborative skate deck by Billi Kid and Stoker Taimir. This deck, as well as 14 others that were also made by professional artist and youth pairs, will be available for bidding at the event’s silent auction along with several fine art pieces. All proceeds from the event will directly support our after-school program, Stoked Plus: Skateboard Build, in which students make a skateboard deck from scratch, completely by hand.
The “notoriously harmonious” Billi Kid is a street artist determined to refine his voice while leaving an indelible mark on the over saturated urban and cyber landscapes. A life-long doodler, art enthusiast and design junkie, his work blur the lines between graffiti, pop culture, iconography and art. Never too busy to look, feel and listen, his collaborative works with artists from around the world have been celebrated in both the media and street art community alike. His passion for the streets has led him to curate ground-breaking exhibitions that have helped bridge the gap between the urban landscape and the sterile indoor environment. Take a close look at it, smile at it, tear it or cover it with something new. From his hand to the streets at large.
Taimir is a freshman at City Polytechnic High School in downtown Brooklyn. Once he completed his own skateboard deck in the after-school program, his enthusiasm for all things Stoked took off when he learned to snowboard in Snow Mentor season. He squeezed onto every trip he possibly could, became an impressive snowboarder, and is currently improving his skateboarding skills in Skate Mentor this spring. He reflected on his time working with Billi Kid, saying that he learned a new technique and a new way of thinking of a piece of art work, and added it to his list of experiences he’s had through Stoked that he can brag to his family and friends about. He said he recommends the program to everyone he knows, “not just because of the trips, but because you learned new skills and you can have a talent that you did not know you had until now. You meet new people that can teach you things. My experience with Billi was awesome, if I could do it again I would.”
Buy tickets to Stoked on Spring and bid on this rad sticker collage deck. If you’re not able to attend, please consider making a donation to Stoked to support its youth development programs. Don’t forget to check in tomorrow for the next Stoked on Spring Spotlight!
Today’s Stoked on Spring Spotlight features the work of John Gordon Gauld, which was generously donated by Salomon Contemporary and the artist. John Gordon Gauld created a series of facial hair watercolor paintings from 2007 to 2011. The beard and mustache series was originally commissioned by Bergdorf Goodman for their windows showcasing the 2011 Men’s collection. The series received an overwhelming response, and Stoked is lucky enough to exhibit one of the paintings at this year’s Stoked on Spring, pictured below, which will be available for silent auction bidding at the event along with a number of other fine art works and the collaborative skateboard deck designs by our professional artist/youth teams.
Salomon Gallery recently exhibited the beard series in December 2011 named John Gordon Gauld: Tickle Your Fancy. The short-term exhibition displayed a medley of facial hair in an installation of over 100 works on paper. Highlighting Fu Manchus, handlebars, muttonchops, chinstraps, and Santas, the exhibition reinforced a sparked contemporary interest in facial hair, and was intended for aficionados and haters alike. While the beard is timeless, certain patterns recall historical figures, eras, and past trends. Facial hair can show one’s status and level of intellect, or one’s diligence or laziness. It can truthfully reflect a personality; and it can deceive.
Gauld’s work includes genre scenes of everyday life, still lifes, and the human figure; and frequently juxtaposes natural objects with those manmade in imitation of nature. The artist’s signature painting style, precision, and satirical tone is evident within the current series. The gestural beards are shown in an alternative context––independent of its eyes, nose, and mouth––giving them the sense of importance they deserve. The blend of skillfully painted watercolors and lighthearted subject matter is sure to tickle everyone’s fancy.
John Gordon Gauld lives and works in New York. He has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He is known for employing unique and delicate materials such as plaster, silverpoint, and egg tempera. Gauld has been included in many New York group exhibitions and has worked with Bergdorf Goodman since 1998, creating large paintings for the store’s renowned window displays. Past works can be found in the recent book Windows at Bergdorf Goodman published by Assouline, 2010.
To bid on John Gordon Gauld’s piece and other art at Stoked on Spring, buy a ticket to the event. If you are unable to attend, you can still support Stoked’s action sports and youth development programs by making a donation.
Continuing our countdown to Stoked on Spring, Stoked’s annual fundraiser that will take place on Wednesday, May 16th, at the Scholastic Greenhouse, today’s Stoked on Spring Spotlight features the collaborative skate deck by Alice Mizrachi and Stoker Mennen. This deck, as well as 14 others that were also made by professional artist and youth pairs, will be available for bidding at the event’s silent auction along with several fine art pieces. All proceeds from the event will directly support our after-school program, Stoked Plus: Skateboard Build, in which students make a skateboard deck from scratch, completely by hand.
Alice Mizrachi is an artist, curator, social entrepreneur, educator, and community organizer. Born and raised in Queens, she has long been an active part of the art community near and outside her home town. Since her graduation from Parsons School of Design in 1999, she has exhibited her works in galleries worldwide such as Powerhouse in NYC, Colette in Paris, Lab 101 in L.A, and Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis to name a few. Her works reflect a nostalgia for a city that once was an urban subculture, gritty and thriving through a variety of buildings woven together as a colorful luminous cityscape; sometimes vibrant, but always invoking a hidden tranquility. With a knack for intensity, it is no wonder that Alice’s work is commissioned for a list of iconic companies including Gravis, The Washington Post, and Shape Magazine. Alice has also been featured in a variety of niche publications such as Giant Magazine, Juxtapoz, and Square Rootz for her hard work and dedication to the arts. She continues to paint murals all over the world as an additional part of her artistic ventures and collaborative partnerships. While educating today’s youth in central Harlem as a teaching artist, she is also keeping busy as a co-founder of the YOUNITY Arts Collective. Alice is not only known for her excellence as an artist and educator, but also for her passion in uniting female artists and entrepreneurs through YOUNITY.
Mennen is a student at the Institute for Collaborative Education in Manhattan. Mennen is a talented artist and creative writer, and has done photography, ceramics, prints, and pencil drawings prior to this collaboration, but painting was one medium she was not all that comfortable with. While Mennen was waiting for Alice to arrive at their first art session together, she sketched out the image of a squid, a character from a story she wrote. When Alice arrived, they discussed how the squid could be best applied to the skate deck using paint, selected an image from Alice’s sketchbook of a girl to represent the other character in Mennen’s story, and made a completely collaborative design on the skate deck. Mennen also wrote the words from her story on the deck to unite their imagery. After they completed their design, Mennen reflected that working with Alice was “awesome” and that Alice helped her feel comfortable with painting by making “it seem really easy and doable.”
To bid on Alice and Mennen’s amazing skate deck artwork, buy tickets to Stoked on Spring. If you’re not able to attend, please consider making a donation to Stoked to support its youth development programs. Don’t forget to check in tomorrow for the next Stoked on Spring Spotlight!
Today’s Stoked on Spring Spotlight features photographer Julian Ungano who has been a Stoked supporter for several years. Julian has not only donated his work to be auctioned off at Stoked on Spring, but also helped us gain donations from other artists and will be DJing the event on May 16th at Scholastic Greehouse in SoHo! Julian’s Digital C Print photo pictured below entitled My Ex Girlfriend will be available for bidding at Stoked on Spring.
Julian Michael Ungano, born 1982 in Chester, VT, is an award-winning photographer specializing in editorial portraiture and fashion photography. His clients include Elle, Lovecat Magazine, The New York Times, The BBC, Lutte Magazine, ESPN, Paper Magazine, Esquire Magazine, Futureclaw, and The Village Voice. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
To bid on Julian’s photo and enjoy the great music he’ll be spinning, buy tickets to Stoked on Spring. If you’re not able to attend, please consider making a donation to Stoked to support its youth development programs.
As we continue our countdown until Stoked on Spring, Stoked’s annual fundraiser that will take place on Wednesday, May 16th at the Scholastic Greenhouse, we are highlighting one piece of artwork each day that will be auctioned at the event. All proceeds from the event will directly support our after-school program, Stoked Plus: Skateboard Build, in which students make a skateboard deck from scratch and earn high school credit. Taking a break from posting our artist/youth skate deck collaborations, today’s Stoked on Spring Spotlight focuses on Kenzo Minami‘s generous silk screen print donation, which will be available for bidding at Stoked on Spring. Kenzo describes the print, titled Infinity Black, as “Infinite power of symbols and signs. Power of infinite questioning.”
Originally from Hyogo, Japan, Kenzo graduated from Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Product Design after majoring in Western Philosophy in Japan. He started out his career as a set designer for TV broadcast networks including MTV and the Sci-Fi Channel, which led him to shoot his own shorts and TV spots. He has also done multiple projects as an interface designer with the M.I.T media lab team. His design KENZO MINAMI DUNNY (2006), collaboration with Kidrobot, is a part of MoMA Architecture and Design permanent collection. His work and design was also commissioned by Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Dell, Raf Simons, MTV, Fuse, VH1, Sharp, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Converse, Smart Car, Hankyu, Kose, Marui, Kidrobot, Ace Hotel, Grand Hotels NYC, Sennheiser, among others. Additionally, Kenzo started his own clothing line in the spring of 2004.
Today the Stoked spotlight falls on artist Pete KL and his collaboration partner, Esther. This is the fifth installment in our 15-part countdown until Stoked on Spring, which will be on the evening of Wednesday, May 16th, at the Scholastic Greenhouse at 557 Broadway. In addition to the skateboard deck made by Pete and Esther, the event will also auction off 14 other collaboration decks made by professional artists and select youth from our Stoked Plus: After-School Skateboard Build program, as well as a handful of fine art pieces, experiences and trips.
Pete KL has been a proud volunteer for Stoked NYC since 2006, lending his expertise in skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing on Saturdays throughout the year. He is an architect, designer, and sculptor who is dually known for his jewel-box-like modernist residences and his conceptual sculptures from industrial wreckage. He has worked on a broad range of products including furniture, lighting, home accessories, innovative sporting equipment design, and toy design. His work will be on display at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair on May 19-22.
Esther goes to the Brooklyn Latin School in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and recently completed her own skateboard that she built by hand in the after-school program. She also participated in Snow Mentor this winter, as well as several Stoked to Serve programs, where she volunteered with a community service project and then learned to skateboard. When asked about her experience with Stoked, Esther said that “being a part of Stoked helped me express my artistic abilities and gave me a new family. Stoked gave me something to look forward to during my week and it let me know that school was not all work, but there was time for fun too.”
The hope in creating these artist-youth teams was for youth to take their art vision and skills to a higher level, and draw inspiration by seeing professionals do what they love. Said Esther of her experience: “designing these boards has brought out my creative side that I never felt like I had the time or a reason to express, which I am now grateful for.” They dug through the archives of Pete’s magazine collection, bouncing different collage ideas off of one another. It is a testament to the collaborative nature of their design that Pete added, of their finished product, “it has very POP sensibilities and, I believe, reflects both our personalities. It was a blast working with Esther and the experience has encouraged me to return to collage in my own work.”
Come out and support Stoked on Wednesday, May 16th at Stoked on Spring! Click here for tickets. All proceeds of the event will directly support Stoked Plus: After-School Skateboard Build.
Continuing the countdown until Stoked on Spring, Stoked’s annual fundraiser that will take place on Wednesday, May 16th at the Scholastic Greenhouse, today we feature the work of Monica Watkins and Stoker Jahvea, one of 15 youth-artist collaboration skateboard decks that will be auctioned at the event along with several other pieces of fine art. Additionally, the event will feature a silent auction of trips and experiences, as well as music, hors d’oeuvres, and drinks.
Monica Watkins is a model and the founder of Art in Motion, a movement dedicated to inspiring and furthering the creative expression in inner-city youth, and that focuses on social consciousness, artistic freedom, and pushing the personal envelope. She worked with Jahvea, a freshman at City Polytechnic High School and first-year Stoker, who has completed her own skateboard deck, learned to snowboard this winter, and is a blossoming skateboarder with Stoked. Jahvea keeps an impressive sketchbook full of extremely intricate and detailed designs, which the two used to heavily inspire their board.
While Monica was originally impressed with Jahvea’s elaborate designs, they learned from each other, as Jahvea describes her experience working with Monica: “she taught me about texture, and how you can apply layers of paint to create a unique texture.”
Help support Stoked’s youth development and action sports program by buying tickets to Stoked on Spring. All proceeds of the event will directly support Stoked’s after-school program, Stoked Plus: Skateboard Build. Keep an eye out for our daily blog, featuring more pieces that will be available for purchase at the event!