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Meet Lucas Beaufort: creator of HEART, a book and tour to honor 40 years of skateboarding

“You have to be doing 1,000 things. Always yes, that’s a good vision in life. Just say yes and then you can form and sculpt a project however you want. How can you live a life by saying no?”

In the vibrant world of skateboarding, where art meets asphalt, there's a man who hails from France named Lucas Beaufort, a jack-of-all-trades artist, who defies boundaries by pushing the limits of creativity both on and off the board.

“I started skateboarding when I was six and my mom put me on a board. I loved every bit of it. But she was tired of it after a while since I kept ripping my clothes from falling, and she had enough. So she put me in team sports.”

Then at 13, that spark reignited, and he found himself immersed in a world of endless possibilities. As Beaufort navigated life, he discovered that skateboarding was more than just a sport; it was a way of life, a source of inspiration, and a muse for his artistic pursuits. 

 

 

“It taught me everything I know really, how to speak English, how to travel the world, make friends, and see the world. There’s nothing like skateboarding for the culture. From the street fashion brands to the luxury brands, to the cinema industry, you can see so many things that are drawn from skateboarding. For 100 bucks you can get a board, you don't need a car, you can just go from your house and go anywhere.”  

"For 100 bucks you can get a board, you don't need a car, you can just go from your house and go anywhere."

Throughout his travels, Beaufort realized that skateboarding had a universal appeal, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries. It was a common thread that connected people from all walks of life, creating a sense of community and belonging.

 

Driven by a desire to capture the essence of the culture and being cooped up during quarantine, Beaufort embarked on an ambitious project: HEART, a book celebrating the iconic skate shops that have stood the test of time. Each shop featured in the book has a rich history, spanning decades of dedication to the sport, bringing together old and new generations of skaters and paying respect to the pioneers who paved the way. 

 

 

After the book launched, Beaufort embarked on tours visiting each shop featured. Going from Japan to Europe and now finally making his way to the USA. For a 10-stop tour celebration of the skate community, bringing together local skaters, over 250 total artists, musicians, and anyone else with an interested eye. With Pabst Blue Ribbon sponsoring each stop, what the nights have in store is unknown, but Beaufort can’t wait to see. 

 

 

“I want the whole city to come out, to have music, live artists. Just one night each, ten stops, I don’t want to plan too too much. We’re going to be at the shop from 6 to 9 pm and anything and everything can happen after that. I want to freestyle a bit. Let’s go eat together. The shop is just the starter of the night. I want the local skate scene to come out and to have a good time, but then also see what they are into, where they go, and to take me with them.” 

 

 

Beaufort's unwavering pursuit of his artistic passions, combined with his infectious energy and ability to connect with people, has allowed him to create a body of work that celebrates the essence of skateboarding and beyond. His journey is a testament to the power of following one's dreams, embracing change, and leaving an indelible mark on the world.

Catch Lucas at one of his stops over the next month where cold beers will be flowing from the loving support of PBR: 

  1. TENANT (Brooklyn) : April 12th 
  2. Humidity  (New Orleans) : April 23rd
  3. No Comply (Austin) : April 26th 
  4. Cowtown (Phoenix) : April 28th 
  5. 303 (Denver) : May 1st 
  6. Escapist (Kansas City) : May 4th
  7. Familia (Minneapolis) : May 7th 
  8. Antisocial (Vancouver): May 10th
  9. Atlas (San Mateo) : May 15th
  10. Pawnshop (Covina) : May 17th

Be sure to follow Lucas Beaufort on Instagram to stay in the know of each stop.

 

 

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PBR: The Place, Traverse City

By Grady Olson

Rain doesn’t fall here, but it’s misty; my glasses fogged up from the humidity and there’s sandal straps over people’s ankles with shorts on but a Patagonia fleece up top. This is my Traverse City, Michigan experience, hosted by Pabst Blue Ribbon. The lawn is constantly being watered by the sprinkler that makes a rainbow. Water is no issue here due to the Great Lake. Every stretch of grass is green, and the people ask how you’re doing and mean it.

Each room is designed to a theme at The Grand Traverse Motel. There’s the Arcade Room, Dive Bar, and Rec Room. I was in the Rec Room. All are filled with classic memorabilia that the PBR brand represents. Ice cold ones are kept stocked in the hidden mini fridge. An original Nintendo set is plugged into the TV that was taken from your grandma’s house. The whole motel fits into the traditional mindset of PBR with a single metal key to get into your room after checking in at the quaint lobby. 

You can see why PBR chose Traverse City — everything about it is up their alley. The burger joints, the pubs, the thrift stores, and even the grocery store all have their own unique style and welcoming charm. At night on the weekends, The Coin Slot Arcade Bar has live music on the roof, with The Little Fleet providing food trucks and ice-cold Palomas to help fight the heat. The scene’s a mellow one, a somber one, things tend to be like that here, slowed down like the lake’s tide coming up. The lake is almost always within two blocks of where you are in town. You can always walk down for a dip to cool off or stroll the canals looking at the boats.

I heard from a few locals that wintertime in Traverse isn’t necessarily where you want to be, temperatures drop below zero and an icy wind blows off the water. I have a feeling once that snow melts next summer, I’ll be coming back for more.


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Artist Feature: Blending the natural and digital world with Vickie Vainionpää

Born in Waterloo, Ontario, now working out of Montreal, visual artist Vickie Vainionpää is weaving together painting and technology on her own terms. Creating naturally formulating shapes that curve and fold into each other much like our own cellular structures mimicking the relationship between human and material. One may see a disconnect from the machine and personal expression but for Vainionpää, it’s a fluid systematic process that has been her main focus in her work for some time now. 

"Something that nature could dream up, but that remains alien."

Vainionpää has always been interested in creating. As a kid, the lieu of going outside and playing never caught her eye as her intrigue would be inside with a sketchbook and a pen. Ultimately, that intrigue would develop into a passion she would pursue. “I guess the moment when I seriously got into painting was in university. Up until that point, the tools I was using were pretty basic acrylics, inks, and craft paints. But in the second year, I took an oil painting class and it was such a foreign medium to me. I didn’t understand how to control it in the same way that I had been working with water-based paints. It was exciting and  challenging, and still to this day I feel like I haven’t discovered all the intricacies of the medium.”

The process of her creations is layered. Using a 3D software, which she taught herself how to use and program, she generates random shapes and tubes each day at a random point formula which connects any given points in space and creates a line from that. Until numerous entire shapes are formed which overlay each other, Vainionpää then goes in and selects which random generated shape of her liking and paints them onto canvas. It is a process of trial and error. “I go back and forth between the canvas and computer a lot. In the beginning, I like to start digitally, and it takes me quite a while to settle on something I’d like to paint. I have an archive of hundreds and hundreds of renders on my hard drive. On any given day, I might feel like experimenting in 3D, learning a new part of the program, or I might feel like digging through the archive of forms and trying to make something out of them. I think I enjoy starting with 3D software because it’s the ultimate blank canvas -- there’s this virtual barren space with physical parameters that can be altered radically or subtly to produce different results every time. When I'm playing around on the computer, I am drawn to forms and textures that remind me of existing organic matter. Something that nature could dream up, but that remains alien.

"Lately, I’ve re-ignited an interest in psychedelic drugs and have been listening to Terrance McKenna and Alan Watts lectures."

After selecting her chosen composition is when she’ll switch to the physical painting process of her piece. A big challenge for her is creating a certain texture on the canvas whether by hand in pooling solvent or something more chance-based. “I think it’s important to maintain the quality of the painted surface, so I’m currently working that out in my approach. I use raw linen, which is also a conscious choice; it contrasts the very smooth gradations of light and shadow, which I feel lends to this balance of organic/inorganic. It also is my way to participate and acknowledge the rich history of oil on linen, and connect my work to the network of painters that came before me.

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Although her shapes may be generated at random by a program, the inspirational process of her pieces is found outside and within herself. Taking photographs of other artworks and the natural world, getting up close and personal with other pieces in real life, studying how other artists use paint in their own compositions. Her work is constantly changing and Vainionpää is constantly learning and trying to expand her knowledge not only on her craft but in a broader sense of her medium which she works in. 

I find a lot of inspiration by listening to lectures online, watching documentaries, having conversations with my friends… also digging through old sketchbooks to remind myself of what my interests were when I first started making art. That one is really helpful. Lately, I’ve re-ignited an interest in psychedelic drugs and have been listening to Terrance McKenna and Alan Watts lectures. I think my work has always carried a  sense of duality, but also harmony or oneness between themes like the Virtual /Biological, Micro/Macro,  Experience/Perception, etc. That’s a direct reflection of what’s inspiring to me— how can we connect  eastern and western thought, human and non-human…I’m super excited and inspired by the idea that  there’s a fundamental connection between our exponentially evolving technologies and our advancement as human beings, in a spiritual sense.”  

There is a worry about the line between the technical aspect and the free-flowing aspect and how far one could or should push that line to where it’s no longer a tool but an entire form of its own. But just as the bridge of technology and human life is becoming shorter and shorter, Vainionpää is keen but nervous a bit to see how far her work can go. But her message will always be the same and that is one of harmony between each shape in one piece each piece in her collection.

“It’s a natural flow, I’m always springboarding off of the last piece that I made. So if I recently completed something with a really complex texture or reflections, for example, I’ll switch it up and paint something more calming and minimal. There’s a balance of creative energy in that way. In terms of communicating  what I’m trying to say, I see the entire series as a whole, with each individual piece playing a part of that  larger project or message.”

"It also is my way to participate and acknowledge the rich history of oil on linen, and connect my work to the network of painters that came before me."

The future is looking bright for Vainionpää and you should keep your eye out. She is about to show two large pieces for Olga Korper Gallery in Toronto in a group show this October. As well as a residency at GlogauAIR in Berlin in April 2021. Which she’ll be at for three months to prepare work for her next solo show. As well as a duo show in Paris which is still in the works.