Northside is highly regarded as a neighborhood of merging subcultures; a community of fringe artists, musicians, skateboarders, and forward-thinking small business owners. Since it’s grand opening on March 1, Gary Collins’ Galaxie Skateshop in Northside has greatly magnified our district’s trailblazing ways.
Six years ago, local skateboarding legend Gary Collins opened the first Galaxie location near his Covington shredding grounds on the main strip of Monmouth Street in Newport, Kentucky, with fellow local skateboarder Andrew Martin. Collins been running his own brand, Instrument Skateboards, for almost a decade. Galaxie skate shops are owned solely by skateboarders. Zach Kincaid pioneered the conception of Galaxie’s Northside location.
Every “Second Saturday”, Galaxie Northside co-owner Kincaid and artist/event organizer Chris Luessen host their monthly art gallery which raises funds for the longtime Northside Skatepark initiative. “The theme for the June show is ‘Collaboration’,” boasts Luessen. “All artwork will feature two or more artists.”
June’s charity event will take place at Galaxie’s Northside location on Saturday, June 14, from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. Art, music, conversation, and refreshments will be provided.
“The exhibition is open to all art submissions,” declares Luessen. Artists interested in gaining exposure while supporting this heartfelt cause can apply for inclusion by e-mailing images and descriptions of their artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org. Artists should specify name, title, medium, size and price. 25% of the proceeds will fund the Cincinnati Recreation Commission’s Northside Skate Park project. Supporting artists confirmed thus far include Luessen, Jaclin Hastings, Tory Keith, Joel Blazer, Jill Cleary, Brooke Shansey, Amber Bowers, Dave Ackles, and Jordan West.
The concept of opening a skatepark in the empty space between Kirby Avenue and Colerain Avenue dates all the way back to the year 2000. Since then, the Northside Community Council (NCC) has successfully pushed this objective, garnering grant funding via the City of Cincinnati, and hiring Action Sports Design to build the 23,000 square foot park, which will feature a community garden and walking trail, in addition to the aforementioned skating area.
Fundraising has a been a slow and steady process. Lew Ross from Fickle Skateboards launched a fundraising campaign on fundly.com that raised $450, but fell well short of the $1,000,000 goal. So far, Galaxie’s efforts have slowly chipped away at the deficit. “We raised $135 off the first art show, and we’ve raised $100 from May’s donations so far,” Kincaid reveals. Additional funds will be raised at AYE Music & Art Festival, June 27 and 28, at the Southgate House Revival. A fundraiser at Northside Tavern is booked for August 16.
Those who cannot attend the “Second Saturday” art show but are still interested in donating to the Northside Skate Park cause can do so by purchasing bumper stickers from Sidewinder Coffee (4181 Hamilton Avenue). According to the Northside Skate Park website, independent donations can be made to the Cincinnati Recreation Commission. Please memo checks “Northside Skate Park”.
The Galaxie Skateshop is located at 4202 Hamilton Avenue. Visit Galaxie on the web at galaxieskateshop.blogspot.com. For updates on the Northside Skate Park project, visit the official website at northsideskatepark.blogspot.com.
By Nick Mitchell