Pheonix, AZ – First Friday art show will bring local artists and skateboarders together for one night

By – Craig Johnson

A traveling art show inspired by an iconic piece of skateboard art is grasping onto downtown Phoenix for one night during First Friday, bringing together local skateboarders and artist alike to celebrate 30 years of underground art and culture.

The Screaming Hand Art Show will be on display for one night only from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday February 5th at The MonOrchid gallery.

The exhibit is centered around the “Screaming Hand,” a skateboarding logo created by Legendary artist Jim Phillips in 1985 in Santa Cruz, California. This image has stood the test of time and is still printed on Santa Cruz brand T-shirts and skateboard decks today.

Screaming hand poster art

The original Screaming Hand Logo was inspired by the image of a drowning surfer’s clenched hand sticking out of the water. (Courtesy of Jim Philips)

Trent Martin, a Co-Owner of local skate shop Cowtown Skateboards, set up the Phoenix date on this nationwide art show tour.

“The graphic’s 30 years old. It pertains to kind of an older crowd, but it’s cool because it’s like crossed all these generations” Martin said. “The graphic is still used on skateboards that we get in the shop today”

Along with the original sketch of the “Screaming Hand” logo and other work by Phillips, the exhibit will also feature the work of several prominent skateboard artist and several local artists who have been influenced by this iconic image.

“Throughout each stop, whoever’s hosting the show, can work with up to ten local artist” Martin said. “It gives some local artists a chance to get out there with a different medium.”

At each stop on the tour, one of the pieces created by a local artist will be chosen to continue on with the exhibit, which is traveling in crates to each location. When the exhibit reaches its final stop in Santa Cruz, California on August 6th, 2016, all of the local art that was pick up during the tour will be put on display and some of it could potentially be printed on t-shirts and skateboard decks.

Douglas Miles, a muralist and skateboard artist based out of San Carlos Arizona, submitted a unique piece of art, inspired both by the “Screaming Hand” and his Apache Indian Ancestry.

“It’s one of those iconic skate graphics that never goes away, it just a simple but strong image” said Miles. “My piece for the Screaming Hand 30th Anniversary Art Show is a commentary on the frustration of expression of native people in this country.”

Expression Frustration by Doug Miles

“Expression Frustration” by Douglas Miles was done on a 24″ X 48″ piece of pinewood. It is an expression of the difficulties that Native American people face trying to find their voice. (Courtesy of Douglas Miles)

Miles says that he interprets the “Screaming Hand” as a representation of our hard to articulate emotions.

“We’re all trying to say certain things, but sometimes you don’t have words to say it” Miles said.

Miles is the founder of Apache Skateboards, a company based in San Carlos. Apache Skateboards has its own skate team and an online store selling prints and skateboard decks featuring Mile’s artwork.

Like other past skateboard art shows that have taken place on Roosevelt Row, the Screaming Hand Exhibit is likely to bring together artist and skateboarders to create a unique community for one night.

Amy Young is a Curator and Freelance writer in Phoenix who helped Cowtown Skateboards set up the show. She describes skateboarding as something that can transcend into other areas of interest.

“I like the idea of things that bridge cultures” Young said.

Young has worked on other skateboard art shows in the past such “Hit the Deck” in 2013 which involved artists both in and out of the general sphere of skateboarding culture.

The Screaming Hand Exhibit offers a similar venue for art and skateboarding to fuse together in to an intriguing world of underground expression.

“I loved seeing people who really had a passion, a lifetime commitment to skateboarding, be able to express that in an artistic way” Young said. “It’s kind of a nice way to bring some different worlds together.”




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