Pro Skateboarders Torey Pudwill, Ryan Sheckler and More Become First to Test Jefferson Park’s Newest Public Art Piece
Red Bull Skate Space, a permanent art sculpture designed for the City of Seattle that is skateable, was presented to the Emerald City on International Go Skateboarding Day in Jefferson Park this Saturday, June 21, 2014. Hundreds of fans gathered for the unveiling, where pro skateboarders Torey Pudwill, Ryan Sheckler and several others put this artwork to the test in its very first skate session. Pudwill and Oregon based artist C.J. Rench have been designing the Red Bull Skate Space together since early 2013.
To kick off the celebration, the unveiling began with a warm welcome from skateboarder and X Games medalist Torey Pudwill, artist C.J. Rench and Seattle Parks Deputy Superintendent Eric Friedli. The next few hours unfolded in an energetic meet and greet as the pros mingled with fans, art critics and Seattle locals. Throughout the unveiling fans were able to skate alongside their professional skate heroes and end the afternoon with an exclusive autograph signing. Taking place on International Go Skateboarding Day, the unveiling of Red Bull Skate Space is helping Seattle celebrate this global holiday along with millions of skaters around the world.
“Today was a huge success in skateboarding history. We’ve successfully created a one of a kind, multipurpose art piece,” said Pudwill. “Seeing everyone put this to use for the first time is a dream come true.”
Pudwill’s game-changing street skills have earned him spots on a variety of podiums, including X Games, the Copenhagen Pro, the Tampa Pro and Maloof Money Cup, along with being named Best Street Skater at the 2011 TransWorld SKATEboarding Awards. After nearly two years of collaboration, Pudwill and Rench have successfully created an art piece that invites interaction and participation from all walks of life. The project was the first concept of its kind; a true celebration of culture and sport that is ultimately reshaping the way people view and interact with public art.
“Bridging the game between art and sport is such a cool concept, but once we finished putting this up I realized that we had done it,” said Rench. “Seeing moms and dads sitting on the sculpture as their kids skated around, it was just icing on the cake to see all of these people enjoy one art piece so differently.”
Weighing in at 11 thousand solid pounds of steel, the sculpture stretches more than fifty feet wide and twenty-two feet tall. It is made out of mild carbon and stainless steel, requiring 26 people to move and install in its final resting place in Seattle’s Jefferson Park. Multiple forklifts along with the assistance of an 18-ton crane were needed to lift all of the pieces off the truck.
In addition to Pudwill, professional skateboarders Ryan Sheckler, Felipe Gustavo, Tom Schaar, Alex Midler, Ryan Decenzo and Joey Brezinski attended the unveiling by testing out the new sculpture in an interactive skate session with their truest fans. Those attending received an unprecedented experience, skating on this artwork alongside some of skateboardings’ biggest stars.
Red Bull Skate Space is now a permanent fixture in Seattle’s Jefferson Park. Considered by many as one of Seattle’s most enjoyable destinations, Jefferson Park is the sixth largest park in the city and offers unparalleled views of the Duwamish River, the city and the Olympic Mountains. Jefferson Park is a designated District Skatepark location in Seattle’s Citywide Skatepark Plan. This plan identifies a network of safe, legal places throughout the city that can begin to change the way people think about and experience skateboarding in Seattle.