Exhibit: Skate It or Hang It?

How Skate It Is!

On a recent HOTlanta day, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) proved a safe haven and cool escape when Atlanta Parent joined a group of day campers for the newest exhibit, “Skate It or Hang It!? The Evolution of Skateboard Art.”
The exhibit showcases the development of skateboarding from its California beginnings in the 1970s to its current worldwide professional sport status. Whether you or your kids are into skateboarding as a sport, as performance art, or just want to admire beautiful artwork on the boards, this vividly colorful exhibit is recommended. Some of the kids we observed seemed awestruck as they stared at the hundreds of skateboards lining the walls in their many different shapes, sizes and color combinations. 
Will, 7, a wide-eyed Camp MODA camper viewing the show, said,  “I think I do want to try to skateboard, but I know I would have to be careful.” Many kids had fun picking out their favorite skateboard on display. Brother and sister campers Zack and Zina debated a bit before deciding that their favorite board was one with colorful graphics of a red dragon.
One of the big hits (and coolest things) for kids at the “Skate It” show: using an interactive touch screen to “pick a trick” to watch on video. Kids learn the name of a specific trick, then watch skilled skateboarders perform that trick – flipping their boards in the air and grinding on sidewalks and rails.   
“Skate It or Hang It!?” also features bios and interviews with skateboarding legends like Wes Humptson, Steve Olson and Jim Phillips. Kids will learn about the process of creating a skateboard, from the type of wood selected to the unique graphics chosen to create a skater’s perfect board.
MODA boasted a record-breaking attendance of almost 600 visitors on the exhibit’s opening day. Museum Executive Director Brenda Galina is pleased with the success of the exhibit, which took a year to plan. “We’re thinking of turning the collection into a traveling exhibit because it’s been so popular,” she says.
Many of today’s parents had skateboard action themselves as kids – so those parents will especially enjoy the show along with their kids. The exhibit is best suited for kids 8 and up. Don’t let this cool exhibit roll away before you see it. “Skate It or Hang It!?” continues at MODA through Sept. 16.
– Kate Wallace

If You Go

Skate It or Hang It!?
The Evolution of Skateboard Art

Museum of Design Atlanta, 1315 Peachtree St., Atlanta
404-979-6455; museumofdesign.org
When: Through Sept. 16. Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults 18 and older; $5 kids ages 6-17; free for ages 5 and younger.