Today we would like to feature Andy Neal, psychology teacher and avid Skateboarder for making a difference in his community. Andy is a good friend of Pillar Design Studios. Recently we completed a skateable swimming bowl in his backyard with Artisan Skateparks and are happy to share his mission with our readers.
Due to Andy’s love for art, he has always wanted to start a scholarship program, as a result Art –Space was conceived. Art Space is a student club that creates galleries where work is displayed and ultimately sold. Half of the proceeds go to the artist and the other half to a scholarship fund. The Edison Art Space Scholarship fund is for senior art students looking to purse art in college. To qualify for the scholarship the student must have a piece of artwork selected for Art Space, a minimum 3.0 GPA in art class and a 2.5 or higher GPA in core academic courses.
This past opening was a huge success with more than seven students selling pieces. The theme of the night, “Skart”, Skart is an industry term for Skateboard artwork; it is rapidly growing in popularity and profitability. Skateboarding is a creative process, much more in depth than just performing stunts; there is an artistic approach involved. Art has shaped and evolved the Skate culture of today, so what better way to pay respect to the relationship between Skateboarding and the Artistic mindset then a Skart show. Andy Neal, Co-founder of Art Space, gathered his own used boards and donated them as the canvas for the Feb. 2nd opening, giving the students free rein as long as it was suitable for the classroom.
The Skart showing featured 20 skateboards and drew over 100 visitors. Each skateboard was on sale for $50 with the show raising $750 for the scholarship fund. Each board unique, no two boards the same, resulted in an amazing collection. One board by Anna Lisa Sheldahl featured a Koi pond, illustrating depth and color, while another board provided a unique representation of a Muslim woman in a Burqa peering from behind a wall.
We commend Andy in his dedication to not only the Skate Industry but the young, local artist community as well. Art Space provides young artist the opportunity to show their work, hear positive feedback and ultimately boost self-esteem. Thank you Andy for being a positive role model for the Skate community and showing us all it is possible to make a difference!
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[About us: Pillar Design Studios, based in Tempe, AZ is a design/build landscape architecture firm specializing in both public and private skatepark facilities. Led by Brad Siedlecki, Pillar Design’s reputation has been built on integrity, quality of service, the ability to deliver progressive designs and impeccable skill in construction document production.]