'New Normal: Skateboarding Now' & 'Deck Design: A Survey of Skateboard Evolution'

Monday, May 22, 2023

The City of Irvine is pleased to present the upcoming exhibitions, New Normal: Skateboarding Now at the Great Park Gallery, and Deck Design: A Survey of Skateboard Evolution at the Great Park Artist Studios –– opening Sunday, June 4, and concluding Sunday, August 27. These exhibitions will also feature two interactive Slushcult Fingerboard Sessions at the Great Park Artists Studio and Palm Court Arts Complex. Additionally, a panel discussion will be hosted Sunday, July 2, at the Great Park Gallery featuring a conversation with professional, adaptive skaters on the history and significance of adaptive skateboarding and its empowerment of individuals with physical disabilities.

New Normal: Skateboarding Now Exhibition
Evolving out of the 1950s California surf community, skateboards brought the sensations of the water sport to the streets, becoming a staple of California’s cultural landscape. Since then, skateboarding continues to evolve, capturing the attention of each generation in a different way promoting diversity and inclusivity. New Normal: Skateboarding Now explores how the sport has contributed and expanded into fashion, film, music, and art, inspiring diverse demographics globally over the last 70 years. An opening reception will be held Sunday, June 4, 1–3 p.m. where guests can view curated photographs, collections, and immersive installations that offer a fascinating perspective on California skateboarding culture.  

Deck Design: A Survey of Skateboard Evolution  

Since the 1950s, the skateboard has evolved both scientifically and aesthetically, meeting the needs of each generation differently. From artwork to production, each era of the skateboard gave riders new abilities that helped redefine the sport. In collaboration with the Skateboarding Hall of Fame and Museum, Deck Design: A Survey of Skateboard Evolution showcases how the skateboard has changed. An opening reception will be held Sunday, June 4, 1–3 p.m.

Slushcult Fingerboard Sessions
Built on inclusivity and fun, Slushcult has cultivated one of the strongest communities in contemporary skateboarding by way of fingerboarding. With a strong social media presence and a brick-and-mortar Mini Mart, Slushcult provides unique one-of-a-kind experiences to visitors and fingerboarders alike. Slushcult Fingerboard Sessions will bring these experiences to the Artist Studios and Palm Court Arts Complex at the Great Park in support of the Gallery exhibition, New Normal: Skateboarding Now. These fun and interactive events will give visitors the opportunity to fingerboard on unique mini-skate parks and experience the joy Slushcult has contributed to skateboarding. No advance registration is needed for these free, fun for all-ages events.

Slushcult Fingerboard Sessions will take place on the following dates and times:

  • Sunday, June 4, 1–3 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 16, 1–3 p.m.

Adaptive Skateboarding: A Panel Discussion

Adaptive skateboarding empowers individuals with physical disabilities to skateboard by using adjusted techniques and boards. Join Robert Brink, curator of the Great Park Gallery exhibition New Normal: Skateboarding Now, for a conversation at the Great Park Gallery, Sunday July 2, 1–3 p.m., with professional adaptive skaters Justin Bishop, Oscar Loreto Jr., and Quinn Waitley. This inspiring conversation will highlight the history of the adaptive skateboard community and discuss each athlete's experiences with the sport. No advanced registration is needed for this free, family-friendly event.

Great Park is located at 8000 Great Park Blvd., in Irvine. Great Park Gallery hours are Thursday–Friday, noon–4 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. The Great Park Artist Studios hours are Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. All events and parking are free. For more information, visit yourgreatpark.org/arts or call 949-724-6247.