Hmm, what was it now... two years? three years? Well, whenever it was is when the "Full Deck: A Short History of Skate Art" exhibition was first put together by the Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, California. Since then it has hit the road nationally and is currently on display at the Rockford Art Museum in Rockford, Illinois—yes, the very same Rockford synonymous with the Rotation Station.
On that note, it's stupid, silly remembrance time! In 1988, while I was living, thriving and surviving as a skateboarder in Madison, Wisconsin, I managed to catch a ride down to an amateur contest held at the Rotation Station. It was there that my street-wise eyes were opened to what was really going on in the world of skateboarding outside our local, Midwestern pastures—primarily when the Shut Skateboards team hit the course. Mike Kepper, Barker Barrett, Felix Arguelles and li'l Billy Waldman were a few that I can recall by name, and it was a very "Come to Jesus" moment for me. They were flipping and shiftying their boards in ways I never dreamed possible, and I returned to the streets of Madison with a whole new outlook on the paved world before me—well, after I "met" John Lucero for the first time, that is. And by "met" I mean I embarrassingly asked him to sign my Mike McGill T-shirt, as he was one of the "special guest star" pros at the event. I'd never encountered an honest-to-god pro model skateboarder before, so it seemed like the novel thing to do at the time.
For further information on the exhibition: http://www.rockfordartmuseum.org