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Artist keeps Austin weird by combining his love of skater culture with fine art


An exhibit at the University of Texas in Austin asks viewers to look at skateboarding as a process of creation.

Artist Jared Steffensen has been inspired by the practice of skateboarding since 1986 when he began to practice it. Now, the pastime has become the subject for his work. “I wanted to shift my focus to skateboarding instead of just using it as a place to begin,” Steffensen said.

“Torque and Axis,” which is on display May 7 through Sept. 26, showcases the materials, shapes, and movements generated by skateboarders as they travel through urban landscapes in innovative ways. The exhibit brings skateboarding into the art world, highlighting its imaginative aspects using bright colors, fluid lines and re-purposed materials. Skateboarding equipment is also on display along with a film installation that explores the challenges of repetitive skateboarding practice.

Video produced by Eve Tarlo and Galia Farber. Local Beat is an ongoing series on Art Beat that features arts and culture stories from PBS member stations around the nation. 

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