The Hawk’s Nest is a skateboard coop housed in a north Fargo warehouse. Not only does it serve as a private skate park founded and built by skaters for skaters, but it has also been known to host live music and art shows.
This Saturday, The Hawk’s Nest will transform its skate park into an art gallery with the Clean Skate Project, which will feature the work of over 25 local and national artists.
The artists were each presented with two white pre-skated decks to transform any way they liked. Some artists chose to deconstruct their pieces, others added three dimensional elements, and some painted their boards.
The concept behind the white boards not only plays off the phrase and the inspiration behind the theme of the show “clean slate” but it also mimics a gessoed canvas. Each participating artist was presented with two boards. One for sale the other available for raffle. Raffle tickets will be sold at the event. All proceeds will benefit The Hawk’s Nest to help offset operation costs.
Todd Bratrud, a Grand Forks native, will be one of the participating artists. Bratrud has created countless graphics for skate clothing, boards, stickers and advertisements for brands like enjoi, Flip, Nike, Volcom and countless others. He was also named Complex’s Number One Skateboard Artist Right Now.
Bratrud also painted the murals inside The Hawk’s Nest. One mural is a dynamic image of a skeleton. The other is a mural of Mario 3-esque clouds, which was used as a backdrop for a commercial for a new skate deck coming out through skate company Send Help.
“The last show we did curated by Colby Nelson got 180 people through the doors in four hours. If everyone participating in this show just brought two people, we would break some kind of a record,” said Tom Kemmer, one of the founders of The Hawk’s Nest. “We’re all about breakin’ records, breakin’ boards and drinkin’ beers at The Hawk’s Nest -- it’s sick,” he joked.
The coop was founded in October 2011, though construction didn’t start until a few months later. The ramp itself is a feat of engineering and was inspired by the Hiawatha coop in the Twin Cities, which Fargo-born Tom Kemmer was once a part of. He learned a lot about ramp construction from his experience at Hiawatha.
The Hawk’s Nest is a bowl-style park, meaning the floor and walls of the skate area are smooth and curved. “There’s a lot going on to bend that wood into this shape,” Kemmer said. Fortunately his experience and the experience of a good friend, a seasoned ramp builder and all-around “wizard” Minneapolis based Mark Leski. Not only has he had plenty of experience on the skate scene, he also has an architectural background. Steve Bohr was also one of the primary builders.
“As a skateboarder, I look at all the people I’ve met, and 90 percent of my friends I’ve met through skateboarding, and 90 percent of what I do is art and music, and that came through those skateboarding connections,” Kemmer said.
Kemmer is no stranger to working with wood; he does flooring for a living but also works with reclaimed wood. His works in reclaimed wood don’t just end with barn wood; he has used spare trim to embellish the upper level of the venue.
Another event hosted at The Hawk’s Nest was Pancake Skate, which was a fun-filled morning of breakfast and parents familiarizing their children with a skate ramp. “Everyone was out there helping them, holding their hands and getting them used to transitions,” says Kemmer. “That’s really what it’s all about. I’m not going to skate forever, but this place has to continue on and exist.”
To find The Hawk’s Nest, interested parties are encouraged to follow the event on Facebook until the day of the Clean Skate Project event. A map will then be posted.
IF YOU GO:
Clean Skate Project
Sat. Nov. 7, 5-9 p.m.
The Hawk’s Nest, https://goo.gl/mGqgb8
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