Hibulb hosts American Indian skateboarding exhibit

TULALIP — “Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America” will open Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as a new temporary exhibit, featuring 20 skate decks and including examples of Native companies and contemporary artists, as well as rare images and video of Native skaters. “Ramp It Up” at the Hibulb Cultural Center will also feature skateboards with original Coast Salish designs, a graffiti piece, and other unique items by Tulalip tribal members.

The exhibition will be on view through Oct. 13, before continuing on its 12-city national tour. “Ramp It Up” was previously on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York.

Exhibition highlights include a never-before-exhibited 1969 image, taken by skateboarding icon C.R. Stecyk III, of a skate deck depicting traditional Native imagery, and 1973 home-movie footage of Zephyr surf team members Ricky and Jimmy Tavarez of the Gabrielino/Tongva Tribe.

“Skate culture is a great lens to learn about both traditional and contemporary Native American culture,” said Betsy Gordon, curator of “Ramp It Up.” “This exhibition not only showcases the Native skater but also the Native elders, parents, government officials and community activists who have encouraged their kids to skate.”

The exhibition features the work of visual artists Bunky Echo-Hawk of the Yakama and Pawnee, Joe Yazzie of the Navajo, Traci Rabbit of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and Dustinn Craig of the White Mountain Apache and Navajo, and highlights young Native skaters such as 22-year-old Bryant Chapo of the Navajo, and 13-year-old Augustin and 10-year-old Armondo Lerma of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.


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