A decked-out wall at Vertical Gallery
A decked-out wall at Vertical Gallery Credit: Andrea Bauer

Patrick Hull, owner and curator of Humboldt Park’s fledgling Vertical Gallery, knows a good holiday-themed pun when he sees one. The gallery’s newest group art show, “Deck the Halls”—which opened last Saturday (11/16) and runs through December 21—highlights 53 local, national, and international artists who have repurposed 90 skateboard decks into their own personal canvases.

For the show Hull enlisted the services of Mike Ruta, co-owner of Uprise in Bucktown (1820 N. Milwaukee), to both promote and suggest artists—and, while he’s at it, contribute. Ruta shredded old skate decks and recycled the splinters and chips to create artwork on a new skate deck. Pretty meta, for sure.

Unique pieces on display aside from Ruta’s include Cramped, a work by local street artist Czr Prz featuring a pair of decks gnarled and reconstructed to form a cityscape, and Ashes to Ashes, a work by Sentrock meant as a tribute to a fallen friend that comprises a burned deck housed within an acrylic case. Other participating artists include popular Australian street artist Stormie Mills, the UK’s My Dog Sighs, Philly’s Jim Houser, and locals Nate Otto and Don’t Fret.

Of course, all the decks are for sale. They range from $50 up to $4,000 (whoa), with the average price point falling somewhere between $350 and $400. And “Deck the Halls” is an off-the-wall show, so once you’ve paid for the deck, it’s yours to take home right then and there. Drill the holes, install the trucks, add the wheels.