"The Land Of Plenty has been growing continually since its inception, and we are posting this temporary webpage to update everyone on our recent activity. We are currently preparing for our next board show and multimedia blast, and this will give you an idea of the projects we will be undertaking and the philosophy that defines our organization."
The 'nuts and bolts' of the LOP is the Board Exchange: a program where kids receive two boards- one to keep and skate, the other to paint and return to the LOP. We take these boards, and alongside hand painted boards by professional skaters and artists, display them online and at boardshows where they are auctioned to raise more money for the board exchange. We took the proceeds from our last board show (December 11, 2005) and purchased blank decks. These, along with donations from Girl Skateboards, have supplied several "skate clubs" at high schools and youth centers around the country. Among these are Jacob Borshard's art students at Alchesay High School in Whiteriver, Arizona; Gabe Brummet and Jeremy Carple's students at the I Have A Dream Foundation (Forest Grove and Portland, Oregon, respectively); friends of Doug Miles (Artist, Owner Apache Skateboards) in San Carlos; a group of skaters at El Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana, CA; friends of Claire Alleaume in France and across Europe; and others.
In March we traveled to San Carlos, Arizona to attend the Apache Skate Blast, an event held on the San Carlos Apache reservation, organized by artist and Apache Skateboards owner Doug Miles. The festivities began with a contest at the local skatepark (at the Boys and Girls club facility with much local help), which Donny Barley flew in to help judge alongside LOP director Greg Shewchuk and local ripper and MC Ruben Ringlero. The comp was heated and many got down to business, including hometown favorite Doug Miles Jr. and LOP soldier Aryeh Kraus. Girl skateboards loaded us up with product for the contest, which we contributed to a bountiful pot supplemented by Etnies, Flip, Baker, Zoo York, The Firm, AZPX, JFA, Apache Gold Casino, and many more. Afterwards we retreated to Doug's mother's house for a family meal, attended by skate luminary Lance Mountain and the legendary JFA. The LOP gave decks to the extended Apache Skateboards crew, and got to take a tour of Doug's art studio, where he schooled us on, among other things, Native American society and representations. After the meal everyone went back to the park for a concert headlined by JFA. Thanks to Doug Miles, Brian Brannon, AZPX, and the Boys and Girls Club for making this unprecedented event happen.
Donny Barley, LOP's top pro, has been doing his thing on the East Coast, and recently held a skate camp in his home town of Groton, CT. After giving the kids some of the finest skateboard instruction in the world, Donny donated all of the proceeds to the city to help fund improvements to the local skate park. Donny is one of the featured subjects in the upcoming LOP short film, "Experiment in Progress", which will also feature Steve Olson, Eric Dressen, Kien Lieu, T'ai Chi master Sun Anguang, Hapkido Grandmaster Sang Yun Lee, Anusara Yoga instructor Tanya Beilke, Council Leader Jack Zimmerman, and others. The Land Of Plenty itself is an 'experiment in progress', and skateboarding- whether you are at an organized training session or just cruising down the street- is always a learning and growing experience.
I have been speaking a lot lately with different people, including those in the educational and professional communities, and often hear the same thing: they are somewhat fascinated by skateboarding and skateboarders, but can't really understand what is going on, and often dismiss the activity as something juvenile and destructive. This stereotype is hardly enhanced by the media's portrayal of the skateboarder, which is usually drenched in soda and desperately spinning around on ramps trying to win big contracts like any other sports star. While this is a legitimate aspect of skating, there is much more to this activity- deeply profound realizations of balance and creativity and fearlessness, to name a few- than appears on the surface. Part of the LOP's mission is to explore, and explain, the substantial and transformative mental and physical processes that the discipline of skateboarding demands. More akin to Yoga and the internal martial arts than "extreme sports", skateboarding is a language and artform and meditative entrance into a deep understanding of the self. Not only does the community of skateboarding support creative and expressive/impressive young minds and bodies, it cultivates them, and keeps the practitioners strong and sharp and aware, developing a healthy sense of humor and grounding to the real world. Skateboarding is truly a thriving, universal culture electrified by constant progress and inspiration. We as an organization work to support and encourage this culture.
On December 11, 2005 the LOP had our first public board show and auction at Brooklyn Projects skateshop in Los Angeles. We had over 50 boards on display, including pieces by Steve Olson, Donny Barley, Eric Dressen, Jason Rogers, Bret Banta, Geoff Mcfetridge, Rob Abeyta, Jr., Rich Jacobs, Tim Kerr, Gomez Bueno, Brian Lotti, Kien Lieu, Andy Jenkins, Chad Muska, Chris Pastras, Mr. Dope America, Jiro Yaguchi, Bart Saric, and many others, including a large selection of Board Exchange boards painted by youth participants from across Los Angeles and beyond. The show was well attended, generously hosted by BP- including the ramp out back, and Fuel TV came by to report on the festivities. Many of these boards were auctioned online in the next few months, raising money for the Board Exchange projects that took place in 06.
Our next boardshow and auction will be taking place in the Fall of '06 in Los Angeles, time and location to be announced. We will be using a different method of auctioning the boards this time, and are hoping to encourage some big bids by our supporters. This show will include many of the heavy hitting boards from our first round, and decks from the above mentioned skate clubs and board exchange recipients. All proceeds will go towards buying more decks for the Board Exchange for next year. Check back on the website to get details on our next blow out, it will be a good time. In addition to the boards, we will be showing the short film "Experiment in Progress" to express some of the ideas behind the LOP philosophy. We are learning as we go, and are as open as ever to new ideas and ways of approaching ones that we are already working on. As we extend our network and communicate with different skaters and artists and mentors, we are becoming better equipped to pursue our mission. It is a constantly humbling and inspiring experience.
Please check back to see what is next. The website will soon be expanded to feature more photos and articles on the various projects that we have done so far, and to continue showcasing the boards in our collection, along with interviews, photos, and video clips of members of the LOP family. We will be attending the next Apache Skate blast, and are helping put together a grant proposal to continue building out the park on the San Carlos Reservation. We are establishing more skateboard clubs at schools and community centers around the country. In addition, we hope to extend the Board Exchange to many other groups of underprivileged, underserved, incarcerated and at-risk youth around the world. In a more long term goal of exploring the deeper implications of skateboaring, we are working on establishing various training and sharing sessions among skaters and other groups of insightful and expressive teachers and students. Among these are skate camps, seminars, lectures, council sessions (a communication practice based on Native American traditions prompted by Jack Zimmerman of the Ojai Foundation), and whatever else we happen to get into.
We have been very fortunate so far to receive so much support from family, friends, the skateboarding community and beyond. Our primary volunteers are Natalie Carlson, Chris Shewchuk, Aryeh Kraus, and Rosamond Rice. Thanks to them and everyone else who has helped out so far. That includes all of the skate club mentors, all of the artists, and the photographers whose work you see on these pages. Additionally, the following companies have demonstrated their support or shared in our work so far:
We thank everyone who has shown us support, and donated time and money to our cause. We can always use help and new connections, so please feel free to contact us to volunteer, sponsor, or otherwise engage with the LOP. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are currently looking for an office intern with internet/html skills in the LA area to help out for 5-10 hours per week. Please email: email@example.com if you are interested.
You can visit our old site archived at this link: LOP Archived Site 1
All material copyright 2006, The Land Of Plenty. Peace out.