Cory Ricketts and his daughters, Eva and Bella, are frequent visitors to Lake Forest's skate park but Saturday evening was the first time for the family at its annual art show.
“We’ve been coming to the skate park for at least three years now,” Ricketts said at the show. “We came to listen to some music, see some art. You know, it’s something to do.”
Ricketts and his family were just a few of many attendees at The Gathering, ’s third annual art exhibition, held Saturday evening.
With the skate park displaying the artwork of more than twenty artists and photographers, attendees had the chance to purchase an array of art pieces as well as participate in a live auction—a first for the park.
Proceeds from the auction benefit the park, helping it offset it operational costs, according to park coordinator Nick Gates.
“It’s still a process of trial and error,” Gates said Saturday before the auction. “We’ll see how it goes. I want it to be like Storage Wars,” he added with a laugh.
Among the artists at the park was Doug Kriezel, a returning participant in the art show who displayed paintings, photographs, and silk screen printings to attendees.
“After taking part in the art show three years ago, Nick invited me back this year,” Kriezel said. “My paintings are great for a show like these because of the contrast that each one has in the choice of colors.”
His paintings, ranging from skateboarders in action to sea turtles under the ocean, utilize bright and dark colors, creating a saturated contrast. Each piece of art is signed with his signature, “DKink”—a nod to his initials.
“I’ve been painting since I was 6, and skating since 1972,” he said. “I love painting scenes of skateboarders, but not everyone is going to like those. I’ll paint anything.”
Mike Lowrey, a first time artist at the exhibition, came to Etnies Skatepark representing his company Tiki Lau. Lowry carves handmade tiki statues out of palm trees. Using a chainsaw, chisel, and blowtorch, he creates everything from chairs and bar stools to small stump-sized tiki heads.
“After doing it a couple of years just for friends, I decided to see what the public thinks,” he said. “I’m a carpenter by trade, but a frustrated artist at heart,” he added with a laugh.
Attendees Sandy and Tony Incontro came to the show to check out the art displayed by Kriezel and other local artists. The Laguna Hills couple said it was the first time they had been to the park, but plan on coming back soon.
“Our son skates over in Laguna Hills, but this park is so much bigger than the one back home,” Sandy Incontro said. “We wanted to check out the art and see what they have.”
As the band played on in the background, Gates kicked off the auction, taking the stage to auction off donated items as well as art pieces to attendees.
The biggest prize of the night was a year’s supply Vitamin Water, delivered to the door of the highest bidder—a bottle a day.
Gates said the auction netted more than $400 for the upkeep of the park, and that the event raised about $1,000 total.
“Keep in mind it goes to the skatepark, keeping it free,” he said. “Maybe we’ll build that hill out next,” he added as he pointed to the edge of the park. “Why not?”
The skate park , adding a number of new features that attracted out-of-town skaters as well as locals to explore the revamped park.