Deck Art competition expands

Registration due April 26, completed skateboards on display May 16-17

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published March 27, 2013

ROCHESTER — South Street Skateshop and the Rochester Downtown Development Authority are teaming up to transform this year’s skateboard art competition, Deck Art 2013, into a downtown Rochester crawl with activities for all ages.

“This is our third year, and each year it continues to grow in a very positive way,” said Linda Gallaher, who owns South Street Skateshop with her husband, Von.

The DDA is working with South Street Skateshop on the event for the first time this year.

“We’re really excited to be part of an art event to get kids excited about art,” said Stephanie Hellebuyck, DDA events coordinator.

Deck Art 2012 drew 130 artists from all over southeastern Michigan, and Gallaher hopes Deck Art 2013 will draw even more. Organizers are currently looking for businesses and adults, as well as elementary school, middle school, high school and college students, to participate in the skateboard art competition and exhibition.

Artists are asked to create their unique work on a blank skateboard deck. Artwork may even be 3D, as long as it can be hung on a wall, and any medium is accepted. The designs will be judged based on originality and craftsmanship, and the judges will name winners and hand out prizes in each age category.

“What’s so wonderful about it is each piece really has its own personality. No two boards look alike. They are really unique, and I think that’s what makes it fun,” Gallaher said.

Those interested in entering the competition must drop off a $20 entry fee (plus tax) and registration form at South Street Skateshop, 410 Main St. in downtown Rochester, before April 26. Gallaher said participants are encouraged to register well before the deadline date so that they can receive their deck and begin creating. The completed decks must be returned to the shop May 6-12.

Organizers will host the Deck Art 2013 Kickoff — which includes a sneak preview of Deck Art 2013, special promotions, and family and kids’ activities — from 5-9 p.m. May 16.

“All of the businesses who are participating to display the deck art in their stores will offer special promotions, deals and discounts May 16. We do have a couple who will do some in-store demonstrations, too,” Hellebuyck said.

There will be side street entertainment, clowns, sidewalk chalk for event-goers to use to decorate the sidewalk in front of participating businesses, and a kid’s art activity involving decorating mini skateboard decks, sponsored by Bloomingdale Construction.

“It will definitely be a lot of fun,” Gallaher said.

Completed artwork will be displayed inside more than 50 local merchants during the Deck Art 2013 crawl from 5-9 p.m. May 17. The crawl will begin at South Street Skateshop, which will have maps available.

Four food trucks — which will be serving what Gallaher referred to as “fun street foods” — will be parked on East Fourth Street between Main and the alley both nights.

“It just adds to the festivity of the event because everybody loves food,” she said.

Skateboards submitted by artists for Deck Art 2013 will be on display in downtown Rochester May 16-June 1.

For more information about South Street Skateshop, visit