By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Vivid blues, greens, reds and every color you could think of catch your eye when you pass by the Blake Baldwin Skate Park in the northeast corner of Andrews Park.
Fresh graffiti art breathed new life into the park after local artists of all kinds joined there Sunday to recover the skating park grounds.
This is the third year artists have volunteered to be part of the CRE8nSK8 Project, spearheaded by the Norman Public Arts Board. Andy Jacobs, art director of the event, said they had about 20 artists show up this year and everything went great on Sunday.
All of the artists have provided a lot of diversity and a wide variety of looks at the park for the community to enjoy, Jacobs said. The event also provides a legal venue for professional graffiti artists and artists of all kinds to come out and share their talents with the public as well.
Norman artist Skip Hill, who mostly works in the fine arts realm of artistry, joined in the fun on Sunday painting a small ramp near the middle of the skate park. Hill said the project is a nice, loose, casual event that allows artists to come together and collaborate with each other.
“It allows you to be more spontaneous,” he said of why he enjoyed the event.
The project also allows the art form of graffiti to be seen in a positive way,
“because it is an art form,” Hill said.
Other artists volunteering Sunday agreed that it was fun to collaborate with others and be around like-minded people.
“It’s art that should be in a gallery but we’re doing it for free so everybody can enjoy it,” said a local artist known as Fern. “We could be sitting in air conditioning in a studio and painting and making money but we’re out here enjoying ourselves with friends and meeting new people.”
While artists revamped the ramps and the rest of the skate park, the area was closed down for skating but the public was invited to watch. Last year CRE8nSK8 Project won the Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society’s Award of Excellence.
The project is endorsed by Norman Arts Council, the Norman Parks Board and the City of Norman. The money for the project, including all the paint, came from donations made to the Art in Public Places Fund.
Artists for the project have included: Mark Vass, Derek Vosten, Erik McCullough, Dylan Bradway, John Babbitt, Dusty Gilpin, Eric Baker, Todd Renshaw and Jesse Williams, along with lead artist and organizer Andy Jacobs.
For more information about the CRE8nSK8 project, contact the Norman Arts Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405-360-1162.