Andy Weiss (former owner of the Market Skateshop in Fort Collins), Alison Alter (an art teacher at Fort Collins High School), and Justin Hocking (co-editor of Life and Limb: Skateboarders Write From the Deep End) called in some favors and brought out some heavy hitters for tonight's All Hands On Deck silent auction to benefit their new organization, Launch: Community Through Skateboarding.
The auction runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at 222 Walnut Street in Old Town Fort Collins and features more than 50 pieces by local and national artists, including some of the biggest names in the cross-section of the skateboarding and art worlds, like Mark Gonzales and Michael Sieben.
"I've always been attracted to those skateboarders who were thinking a little bit differently, doing something different, and were very artistic-minded," says Weiss, executive director of Launch. "There is a side of skateboarding that continues to grow in the mainstream that's really competitive, with skaters who are very focused on getting a sponsor and winning contests, but for me it's more of a freedom of expression thing and a creative thing. The Fort Collins skate scene is perfect for what we have in mind: There are a lot of kids up here skating just to skate. Why not build a community around that, expose kids to every aspect of skateboarding and allow people to be creative within that idea of skateboarding?"
The proposed Launch Creative Center will feature a skateboarding museum, skateboarding library, a ramp (of course), a workshop area for DIY art and construction projects and community spaces for programs like the Poudre School District's Skate to Success.
Launch will also be selling $1 tickets tonight for a raffle featuring more than $2,500 worth of skate-related swag from Solitary Arts, Krooked Skateboards, Antihero Skateboards, Vans, Real Skateboards and Thrasher Magazine.
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