How Skateboarding has Inspired Wheelchair Action Art

Jul 27, 2011
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Skateboard painting is a form of art where an artist paints directly onto the skateboard deck or where the skateboarder uses a skateboard as a paintbrush to create works of art on their concrete canvas.

Among skateboard artists, are Haroshi, Keith K-Dub Williams, Sean Greene, and DFace.  For example, DFace uses the DFace Spray Paint Skateboard Interface which is a wireless remote controlled system that is attached to the bottom of the skateboard.  This system allows the artist to acquire all the movements of a skateboard while being ridden.  The interface pushes out a solid flow of paint leaving behind swirling roads of color.

However, it was not until Sean Green’s exhibit, Skateboard Side Effects, that skateboard art would become popular in the health care industry.  Sean Greene also uses a skateboard as a paint brush.  Instead of attaching a spray can to the skateboard, he attaches a “light emanating device” to the skateboarder.  The light tracks created by the board where then photographed.  This display resonated with a 10 year old boy named Augie Webster who soon developed “Wheelchair Art” based on these artists’ works.

Augie has  cerebral palsy as well as uses and wheelchair and although he wanted to try using a skateboard to create art, he could not.  Instead, he had his siblings help him move his wheelchair in the same way Greene and DFace use skateboards.  “Together We Can,” Augie told his mom, “I could make wheelchair art. I need help.” First, his siblings paint directly onto his canvas which is taped to the floor.  Then, a large sheet of paper is placed atop the paint.  Afterwards, his siblings push his wheelchair on top of the paper to create his design.

Wheelchair Action Art has been used at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, a continuing care retirement community.  Residents used wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, and other mobility devices to create their designs.  Auge’s mother is currently working with other continuing care communities to create programs for residents.  To contact Auge and his mother, email them at KathyKWebster@wheelchairactionart.com.

Author: Melissa