This First Friday we’re going skateboarding. The Badlander hosts the Montana Skatepark Association’s fifth annual On Deck auction, which showcases really edgy, cool, sometimes funny, often stunning art made on skateboard decks. You’ll recognize some of the names of our own local artists and get an introduction to other regional and nationwide artists, too. The live viewing and bidding starts around 5 PM and the event is one of the few that continues on long after other First Friday venues shut their doors. Even if you don’t end up bidding, watching people competitively bid on skateboard art is pretty entertaining. [Skateboard art below by Dan Kral].
Sometime during the evening we’ll stop in at Allegra Printing and Imaging (111 W. Broadway) to check out longtime Missoula artist Steve LaRance’s newest oil paintings titled Motor Oils. It’s been a while since LaRance has showed his work. Longtime Missoula residents will remember his quirky Western themed art—eggs and bacon, spurs and cowboy hats—all rendered in deep, vivid colors. Plus his Absolut Montana lithograph with a bottle of vodka flanked by a flyfishing fly and cowboy boots, among other Western images. His new work delves into Western culture but this time with roadside scenes generally including older cars and hot rods.
Finally, if you walk around downtown enough, you’ll probably end up face-to-face with the colorfully clothed facilitators and volunteers of Turning the Wheel, an intergenerational dance and theater group. We’re not sure exactly what performance art they’ll be creating, but since it's called "Seeds in the Streets," we think it has something to do with Spring. Let’s hope they can channel some good weather.