Board riding culture and the visual arts have always held a natural alliance, sharing a rejection of norms to facilitate invention and reinvention, with an innate resourcefulness in order to grow and progress. Imagination is at their shared, symbiotic heart.
To ride a wave, a slope, or pavement is to draw a line and paint in and outside of it. It means finding a balance of efficiency and economy as well as vision and style. It also lends itself to the concept of rebuilding, reestablishing, and stewarding the places we choose to create. Throughout our coastline and province, many board riders have spearheaded environmental cleanups, created jobs and infrastructure, or developed camps for kids and teens. By broken bones and hearts, worn down pencils, rolling wheels and waves, blizzards, frayed brushes, and shattered camera lenses, we take risks to create and express in order to add life to where we live. There isn’t a working artist or rider that doesn’t know the value and necessity of sacrifice in order to do what we love.
Pacific Board Art, which took place on August 13, is an art show concept turned local movement thanks to the inventiveness of local artist/organizers Nick Hutton-Jay, Ian Adams, and Helen Utsal, with many others encircling them. Local businesses added much needed and greatly appreciated support to make the show possible. Using reclaimed or factory defect boards that would have been destined for the landfill, local artists produced beautifully diverse works on unique and instantly recognizable canvases. During the event they were displayed under the high ceilings, bright lights, and white, gallery-like walls of Comox’s Land and Sea Brewing. These works of art were silently auctioned through both in-person and online bids, and sold to generous buyers, driving prices into the thousands. Funds that would not have otherwise been raised by this nucleus of creativity and community were pulled together with 30 percent of profits donated to the environmental efforts of Pacific Wild, who protect wildlife and wildlife habitat in the Great Bear Rainforest.
The evening included auctions from 14 local artists, as well as skate, surf and snow raffle packages, with a live musical performance from Buckman Coe. The energy throughout the night flowed with positivity, generosity, and inspiration—the natural outcomes of creative sacrifice—and was evidence of a well-orchestrated event teeming with kindhearted collaboration.