Painting the park - Local artists make an evolving urban impression on the skatepark

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Craig Thomas painted a new design Monday that skateboarders can roll on at Missouri Park. (Fred Lynch)

The Cape Girardeau skate park in Missouri Park at the corner of Fountain Street and Park Drive is getting more colorful by the day.

Craig Thomas and other local artists are painting urban-art-inspired designs on the surface of the concrete park. The work is meant to give skaters a friendlier place to grind the rails. Mind you, they say, it'll still hurt when skaters miss their landings, but at least now they'll have some pretty pictures to consider as they're nursing new wounds.

Thomas, a member of the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, was at the park Monday working on a 15-foot yellow nautilus shell.

"I thought it would be good for skaters because somebody cutting a curve can see how tight they can get around it," Thomas said of the concentric spirals in the shell.

The artists used 50 gallons of paint to put a base coat on the surface. For his design he is using acrylic paints, spray paint and enamel.

He doesn't mind that the artwork will get damaged and eventually rubbed out by skaters. "It's an evolving thing. It's not supposed to stay forever. You want people to come back and paint over it," he said.

Josh Dannenmueller is president of the Cape Girardeau Skate Park Association and a graphic design major at Southeast Missouri State University. He said painting the park is meant to give different artists a space to paint in their own style.

"They can do whatever they want," he said. "I guess the more it looks like urban art, the better. If somebody wants to come out and paint unicorns and butterflies that's probably not a good idea. But other than that, go for it."

The arts council and Kelso Supply Co. are among the sponsors of the work.

335-6611, extension 245

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