Arts & Culture » Visual Art

Art On Wheels

Prestige presents planks de resistance


Art bleeds its manipulated compositions and aesthetics into the cracks of a world permeated with tasteless commercialism. Otherwise stated, art will fill any gap left to fill. What I am trying to say is: Boise has art hanging everywhere ... and now, located on the fringe of the First Thursday mainstream, a new space has appeared around the corner from an art walk hot spot.

Prestige (106 S. 11th St.), a skate shop around the block from Art Source, is at the edge of downtown's dismount zone. With Grove Street providing a thoroughfare to the skate park, Prestige is an establishment dedicated to providing the tools to perform ollies, McTwists, frontside kickflips, pop-a-wheelies, and 720s. There is an art to skateboarding, and there is art on skateboards.

It wasn't long ago when skateboarders, quite a creative bunch, started painting, drawing or otherwise illustrating on their boards. Art on boards became common practice along the way, and it could as well have been exactly in the manner of First Thursday's June 2nd art show held at Prestige.

Entering Prestige, you'll find a spacious store front. On the main display wall, like fine art, commercial skateboards hang 2 by 20. Toward the back, a raised stage separates out a small gallery where Prestige currently displays handmade original paintings and drawings on skateboard decks.

On the night of the opening, Twisted Sister played on a television and owners Paul Whitworth and Greg Goulet's space appeared extra tidy, especially for a business run by a couple of skaters. Then again, so were their mustaches-which reclaimed the style's dignity, once stripped away by bullying policemen.

Greg Goulet tended to tiny smoked franks, which stewed in a green '70s flower-styled crock pot, and arranged the chips and salsa. Paul Whitworth chatted it up with the growing crowd and flow of people into and around the shop. Whitworth and Goulet come across as very friendly and express their desire to continue displaying visual art at Prestige. Both owners have a genuine positive outlook toward the arts and their involvement.

By talking with artists who were friends and acquaintances, Prestige designed their show of "painted" skateboard decks. Now pieces of modern art, 16 decks find life-some brightly colored, some abstract, some graphical, a couple with loose brush strokes, some with intricate illustration and one an assemblage of all of the prior. Pieces range from commercial to modern to resembling pages from a sketch book. This is an eclectic group of artists. Some of the artists are familiar from local press and local art shows, some are high-schoolers who met one day at Prestige. This isn't a salon exhibition, just people who like skateboarding and skateboard art.

Nevertheless, Prestige arranged an excellent show of modern art works. The boards will hang throughout the month of June. With plans for more and differing shows, Prestige may well be a new stop on First Thursday, or any time you want to take an "art walk"... or "skate."