Unconventional art in an unconventional venue with an unconventional crowd.
Artist and skateboarder Trey McReynolds exhibited his first collection of artwork strictly made out of used and broken skateboards paired with their various materials at the Paulk & Co. concrete fabricator construction store among artists and skateboarders alike.
The exhibit participated in First Friday September and had performances by aerial artist The Flying Jolie, Statiflow and belly dancer Chloe Moon.
The event, formally advertised as "Hurry Up and Break Skateboard Art Party and Carnival," also provided ramps and obstacles for visiting skateboarders in a parking lot adjacent to the venue.
"There is not many people out there who are doing exactly what I'm doing," McReynolds said. "There are people that do sculptures out of them, paint on the bottom of them, but no one really cuts them into the designs that I do."
McReynolds, who has been an avid fan of skateboarding since the early '70s, created around 20 pieces for this exhibit. The pieces ranged in size, but each one was solely created by materials used to create skateboards.
"A lot of kids just throw away their old boards when they break, and some kids collect them and hang them on the wall, but I always thought there was more use out of it than ride it and throw it in the trashcan," McReynolds said. "A lot of them have cool drawings on the bottom so I wanted to reuse that instead of just throwing it away."
Julie Seen of the Flying Jolie performed silk aerials in the small exhibit space later in the night, and McReynolds mixed music as a DJ.
"I think it'd be really cool to show my work and make it an art event to be able to celebrate local performance art," Seen said before her performance.
Invited by McReynolds, Seen said that showing art among music and other forms of performance create "something for all the senses."
"I think they complement each other to make this whole ambiance and scene," she said. "It's just an extension of all the art; to actually have a show makes it more of an event."
McReynolds originally had experience taking old skateboards and creating them into new, useable skateboards. He said he once took 158 broken skateboards and made it into a 48 foot skateboard.
"I thought it would be funny to take the skateboard trucks off my board and put them on a big, wide board and make something, alternative weird skateboard," McReynolds said. "Then I started making weirder boards and over the decades I was making all kinds of stuff.
"I've done all that, making boards that were ride-able. But I was onto wall hangings, something that was different from what I had done before but was still incorporating the broken boards."
Justin Paulk, owner of Paulk & Co., said the event "just kind of happened."
"This is my first First Friday event, I've done a lot of parties down here, for two years but never on First Friday," Paulk said during the event. "[McReynolds'] stuff is really cool, and I thought it was really cool that he set up all this stuff."
As a part of First Friday September, Seen said she appreciated how the event gathered a diverse crowd.
"To be able to freely express yourself in this way, and to have so many people appreciate it," Seen said of the merging of arts for the event. "And the skaters get to come out too so it's a celebration of what they do and their culture as well. It's a bit of infusion of all the different cultures."
Hoping to show his collection in other local venues and in Atlanta, Ga., and Asheville, NC, McReynolds said he had been working on this project for three years.
"I was so tired of working on this stuff that I needed to get out a show," he said. "I could work on this for another ten years and still feel like I didn't have enough."
Ultimately, Seen said she "loves celebrating local art."
"Most of us around here are passionate about what we do and we want to share it with everybody," Seen said. "It's wonderful that people are willing to come out, and enjoy it and celebrate it with us."