Skating Tree Town

Valerie Le, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

Skating Tree Town is an interdisciplinary design project combining my passions for visual design, skateboarding, and community engagement. As the culminating Senior Studio project of my artistic career at the University of Michigan, this project unites the greater Ann Arbor skateboarding community, made up of diverse voices young and old, of all genders, races, and backgrounds. I aim to distribute the book, through the Skatepark website, Olympia Skate Shop, other local businesses, and online distribution, with all profits being directed to the Ann Arbor Skatepark All Girls Skate program–the most direct impact of my project. The skills I have utilized and am developing are interviewing, writing, graphic design, photography, historical research, and even skateboarding itself. Through the past four months working on Skating Tree Town, I have interviewed, photographed, and interacted with dozens of skate enthusiasts, including Dug Song and Trevor Staples, the originators of the Ann Arbor Skatepark, the Skatepark Board, young skaters from the University, and even strangers I met on the street. By sharing the collective love of skateboarding with all, I hope to present a substantial look at Ann Arbor’s skate culture and its inhabitants.