Syracuse-based illustrator Dan Dippel, who goes by the moniker 1000Styles, designed the flyer for Deck the Halls 2018. Dippel has created artwork for major bands such as Metallica and Foo Fighters. (via thousandstyles.com)
Baldwinsville artist Jamie Santos is bringing her biennial skateboard deck art show, Deck the Halls, back to Syracuse on Dec. 15.
“It’s centered around tattoo artists and local skaters, graffiti artists and lowbrow artists as a promotion of cultural enrichment in Syracuse,” said Santos, who works at Tymeless Tattoo.
This year, though, it’s not just art for art’s sake: There’s a good cause attached. In lieu of admission, attendees are encouraged to bring donations of art supplies for underprivileged schools.
“I decided to incorporate a charity aspect because I wanted to do more with it,” said Santos, who coordinated the first Deck the Halls show in 2012.
This year’s show, which takes place at the Gear Factory, features the work of art and technology students at West Genesee High School. Santos said she has tattooed Steve Ficarra, a West Genny technology teacher and former skater, and they discussed bringing students into the mix.
“Not every kid plays football or lacrosse,” Ficarra said. “But some kids are into art or music and they might be the shy kid in the back of the class that doesn’t get a chance to show their thing. I try to find ways to reach all the kids in my class. That is what we are here for.”
Ficarra’s design and manufacturing class has pressed and sealed about 40 skateboard decks. Photography teacher John Capria and art teacher Mike Lafay led their students in decorating the decks with photographic transfers, laser engraving, and drawing and painting.
“I received a prototype and these decks are as nice as, or better, than what you would buy in a store,” West Genesee Superintendent Chris Brown told Eagle News. “We have a ton of art and photo talent so I can only imagine what these are going to look like when they are done.”
About 40 artists will contribute their work, some of which will be auctioned off. One contributor is Syracuse-based illustrator Dan “1000Styles” Dippel, who has designed posters and album art for bands such as Metallica.
Since the show celebrates the offbeat, underground world of punks and skaters, Santos said she was pretty lax about what parameters artists should follow. “It can be weird, it can be gross, but it can’t be hateful,” she said.
Deck the Halls won’t be just a feast for the eyes. It also features four local hardcore and punk bands, Sympathy Trial, AASB, Ebony Sorrow and Fed Ash.
The Gear Factory, Santos said, has become a bit of an “art commune” in CNY. Deck the Halls offers the West Genny art and tech students a unique opportunity to display their work alongside professional artists’ pieces.
“It’s cool to display their art somewhere other than where their parents can see it,” Santos said.
Jason Gabak contributed to this story.
Ashley M. Casey is a reporter for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press.