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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

The great push for Friends of the Skateboard Arts

Byan Rivera and friends performing skate tricks on a ramp. Photo by Madison Lira.

By Madison Lira

Activism and art have become intertwined for many communities in Pueblo, and the skateboarding community is no exception. Blo Back Gallery, located in the Grove, held a “Skate the Earth Rally” with skateboarding activist and artist Bryan Rivera. 

The night before, Rivera was a featured artist at Blo Back’s First Friday showcase, where he presented his passion project and non-profit, “Morning Star Creations.” The rally showcased some of his and other artists’ pieces surrounding skateboarding but also had half pipes, a parking block and ramps for skaters to come and hang out for a few hours. 

Rivera featured his Friends of the Skateboarding Arts within his showcase, but other features caught people’s eyes. The acronym ORPHANS, “Operatives Reviving Pueblo’s Hurt Agonized Neglected Skaters,” was a feature added to a few art pieces on display. Rivera also used the event to introduce his non-profit, Morning Star Creations, created last year.

Rivera commented on what the non-profit is about. “We’re trying to enhance the community with more skateable stuff in all of our parks. We just feel in every little neighborhood, there should be something for kids to ride their bikes, skateboard, or scooters. Just to get more movement out there,” he said. 

Rivera created this showcase to show that skateboarding is an art in itself as well. The movements practiced and performed with skateboarding are art and the skateable art pieces, such as the beautiful boards, are displayed. He also mentioned how he helped create concrete skate parks from here to the East Coast and how they are also an art.

Being a skateboarder, Rivera discussed how important it was to him to create a showcase and non-profit surrounding the sport from beginning to skate as a little guy, falling out from it in high school, to rediscovering his love and love passion for skateboarding at 27. 

“It just felt like a natural high in a sense. It’s just really helped me try to become more positive… Skateboarding saves,” said Rivera. 

Alongside the community, friends of Rivera stopped by the rally and showcase to support their friend and skate alongside him. Amanda and Celeste Santistevan stopped by at the event to support Rivera as he’s been an active member of the skating community and because they had a couple of pieces on display in the showcase. For the pair, skateboarding has not only been the main form of getting outside and being active but has also created lifelong friendships. 

“Friends I didn’t ever think I would be friends with, too,” said Amanda.

Jasmine and Jackson, a mother and son who are also close friends with Rivera, stopped by the event also for support. Jasmine brought her son along as he actively participates in the sport and wants to learn more tips and tricks for improving his skills. 

Jasmine also stopped because Rivera and others at the event attended the coffee shop she works at in town. She wanted to support someone who does as much for the community as he and others do for the coffee shop she works for. 

As a parent, Jasmine did express concern since skateboarding can be a dangerous sport to learn but that being a kid means you have to go through the pain to learn something that genuinely interests you. 

Jasmine mentioned why she brought her son to the event. “Mostly so he could watch and learn. I think it’s a suitable environment for him to get that masculine energy. Learning how to do things as the guys do it.”

She talked about being a single mom and not knowing how to skateboard; she wanted to provide an outlet for her son to be around men he could learn and look up to for a sport he’s passionate about.

Jasmine beamed when talking about her favorite part of the event. “Watching him [Jackson] see people fail at something they are doing. Watching him see grown adults fail and then keep trying again and again.” 

Besides having community members and friends stop by and skate at the event, Rivera hoped that kids of the community who are skaters would come, see and hang out with those who enjoy skating as much as them. Rivera also hopes that community members of Pueblo would see this event as a talking point on how we should have more skate parks within the city and skate-friendly areas around the natural parts of Pueblo as well.

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