Skateboarding is Trash
Murals in the Market is an annual festival that happens in Eastern Market in Detroit and every year 1xRun hosts the event that showcases new murals and artists all over the area. The event has been going on for 5 years, is known worldwide, and keeps getting better. Personally, it is my favorite event of the year, and this year was one for the books. They invited us - Community Push - to build a skate park in an alley that was more recently repaved and but has been locked up and left decrepit for as long as I can remember.
Words and Photography by Evan Hutchings
Cover photo: Jake Keenan - Wallride
Roula David, the COO of 1xRun, was a main part of the funding we got for The Wig. She suggested doing this skate park along with some of the mural artists painting the walls. Chazz Miller is a local Detroit artist and he painted a massive Aretha Franklin tribute over the biggest obstacle we built at the end of the alley. Other artists we had in our alley were Ellen Rutt, who’s very well known around Detroit, Matt Hebert and the 1xRun staff.
This was a huge project for Community Push and the spotlight was on us so we wanted to do a great job, but it didn’t come easy by any means. Derrick Dykas, founder of Community Push, worked day and night for three weeks straight with a small army of volunteers. Locals like Steve Risner, Rob Gutowski, Al Aho, Tone Marcus, Terrance Jones, Erich Farner, Vince Ziols, Steve Botsford, Cameron Carmichael and Adam Mueller put in huge amounts of work during the build while we had Mike and Jake Keenan from Vans assisting us all weekend.
Every ramp we built was atypical and far from anything we had done before. Derrick and Cameron came up with a ramp called the ‘Hoe Tech’, which was a spin on an obstacle that can be found at The Wig, and another one was the dumpster spine which, I’m not sure where the genius idea came from, but that was a stressful one to build. After what felt like 50 trips back and forth from Home Depot to Derrick’s storage unit(aka, his living room), the crew finally got their first session in before the events that would start on Thursday.
From there, it was chaos and a mixture of partying, promoting our event and literally, watching paint dry. One of the biggest parties of the festival, Eastern Market After Dark, is on the first night, which was also our official opening jam. Skateboarders, painters and other party goers were all stoked on this fresh addition of our skatepark to the Murals Fest. On Friday, we had an open skate followed by a Jazzy Jeff show that was a riot. Saturday, People Skateshop threw the ‘Alleympics’ which was a mash of a best trick on the dumpster spine, a race on a popsicle-stick Walmart board and an impromptu Hippy Jump contest over those Lime and Bird scooters that are everywhere. On a personal note, everything over this week from building, skating and partying, was the most fun I had in 2018.
Thank you to 1xRun, Murals in the Market, Vans, People Skate & Snow and all the volunteers who made this happen.