Site not look beautiful? Click here


Local artists help fundraise for autism with painted skateboards

Photo: Leslie Ventura

Zombies, the Container Park's praying mantis and the haunting black and white portrait of Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The Shining—these are just a few of the 160 hand-painted skateboards on display during the Artists for Autism Skateboard Project inside the City of the World Art Gallery. The exhibit, which had its official opening on First Friday, was coordinated by the Autism Community Trust, a local non-profit that organizes fundraisers for autism charities, and City of the World in Downtown Las Vegas.

On opening day, more than 40 boards had already been sold, with all proceeds going to Families for Effective Autism Treatment of Southern Nevada. Ranging in price from $100 to $300, with a few pricier designs, like a tiled mosaic lion board for $700, the painted boards are hardly recognizable as their original tape-deck forms.

“Last year we did Guitars for Autism and it was natural to partner with the Arts District … and City of the World,” says ACT Executive Director Julie Ostrovsky. “It was such a success we moved on to skateboards.”

But using skateboards in place of canvas wasn’t just an aesthetic decision. Local business Sports Social works with kids of all abilities, including those with autism, to teach social skills through sports like skateboarding. “We took that passion that our kids have for skateboards and asked the artists to create these amazing pieces of artwork,” Ostrovsky says.

City of the World founder and director Roz Knight also works with people who have special needs as an art teacher, so her decision to host the event was easy. “I believe art is a way of life and that’s what gives us peace,” she says. “And everybody should have it.” The boards will be on display and on sale through December 27.

Photo of Leslie Ventura

Leslie Ventura joined the Las Vegas Weekly in 2013 after graduating from UNLV with a bachelor’s in Women’s Studies. In ...

Get more Leslie Ventura

Commenting Policy

  • The five free-standing sculptures look like looms—bed frames wrapped in strips of fabric—but can just as easily be seen as windows.

  • This time with Tatsuo Miyajima’s 18-foot mirrored pagoda sculpture.

  • Helping collectors find local artists, a visit to Opportunity Village's art studio and more.

  • Get More Fine Art Stories
Top of Story