Artist Feature: Kelly from the SwitchLife Artshow Fundraiser & Skate Event

On October 6, 2018, SwitchLife is hosting an Artshow and skate event at Guapo Skateboards to raise funds for their free skateboard lessons program. Read all about it HERE.

SwitchLife Art Show Schedule
Kelly with donation skateboard

Over 20 artists will be featured at the event, and SP4D had the chance to catch up with one of those artists while she is hard at work producing three original art works, which will be sold as part of the fundraiser. Our featured artist is Kelly and she goes by @tetrahedron333 on Instagram and Etsy.

Kelly is a full time mom and full time artist who lives in Dallas with her husband and young daughter. Kelly and her husband met in El Paso, where she grew up, when they worked at rival skate shops. Kelly doesn’t skate, but as an artist, she has always found a kinship with the self-expression culture of skateboarding.

It makes all the sense in the world that artists and skateboarders would find common ground. Skateboards sport an infinite display of creativity literally painted onto them, and skateboarding advances through a combination of creativity and physicality that requires practice, persistence, and ultimately progression. Producing art requires practice and persistence in huge quantities as well, and both provides outlets for people to express themselves. And the overlap of mindset doesn’t stop there, since artists often learn photography and web design to spread the word about their work, and skateboarders are renown for their creativity when filming and photographing their skill progression for social media.

Accomplished skater “Peanut” Hansom Baptiste IV films Marshall Stinson

Accomplished skater “Peanut” Hansom Baptiste IV films Marshall Stinson

SwitchLife provides skateboard lessons to at-risk kids, and Kelly’s husband volunteers as an instructor with SwitchLife, which is how Kelly heard about the show. But the event isn’t the first time Kelly has used a skateboard deck as her canvas. As the significant other of a skater, Kelly has access to used and broken boards and has found them to be an excellent medium for her shaman inspired characters. Over her 20 years practicing art, she has generated 100 characters that merge inspiration from her native El Paso and the original community of El Paso, The Tigua, and her own Hispanic and Native American family heritage. Kelly shared some of her works in progress with me. Her characters fit perfectly on the boards.

A broken skateboard featuring one of Kelly’s 100 characters

A broken skateboard featuring one of Kelly’s 100 characters

I asked Kelly what she would tell someone who isn’t necessarily an avid skateboarder about the about the Dallas skateboard community and the upcoming art show. She said that everyone from babies & little kids, to big kids and the young at heart will be there, and all are welcome. Even if you don’t skate yourself, you will see some amazing skating on the various ramps that Guapo has, and you will feel the vibes of a very fun and welcoming community. As Kelly said, all my friends are skateboarders, and even though I’m not, it doesn’t mean I’m not accepted.

Kelly is excited by the mission of Skateparks for Dallas as well, as a parent. In her view, the park isn’t just for for skaters, since skate parks attract kids on razor scooters, and BMX bikes. The Bachman Lake location is a perfect place to take a walk and enjoy the views while the kids get some exercise at the skatepark. In her experience, a skatepark is a great place to take kids to as a parent for the visual entertainment, and as kids become more independent, a skatepark is a place to make friends and to meet up for a positive experience.

Kids going to a skate park are trying to learn new things, they are trying to achieve goals. Once they achieve one goal, they try to learn something new. Skating inspires kids to always push themselves, and to get used to a certain amount of failure, but keep going. That kind of attitude is a positive skill that can help someone in their life in general. — Kelly, mom & artist

Skateparks for Dallas couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thank you to Kelly for the time, and we encourage everyone to make it to Guapo on Saturday October 6th. We might challenge you to a game of S.K.A.T.E. for the right to purchase Kelly’s works, but it is all for a good cause.

Kelly Art 1
Skateboard Art in Progress
Example of Kelly's Art

If you believe in the Skateparks for Dallas mission, you can join our email list to stay up to date on the project, or learn how you can make a donation via the Dallas Parks Foundation.