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Skateboard artist preaches perspective during Hillside Elementary visit

Mark Rivard, Minneapolis skateboard artist, (right) is a spokesman for Sharpie pens, which he uses to draw his art. Fifth-grade art class students used also use them to draw on a group-drawn board. Students (from left) are Andrew Van Horn, Neyeli Pallas-Yllescas and Cristal Ramirez. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner

Getting the right perspective was the job of Hillside Elementary School students when they recently had skateboard artist Mark Rivard as a guest in art classes taught by Shannon Opichka.

Students watched a video of Rivard's art and his life before he visited their classes recently every morning for a week. Opichka's art assignment was to combine learning two-point perspective with cityscapes that Rivard includes in his art.

All the fifth-grade students also got a chance to work on a class project to decorate a skateboard with cityscapes.

Fifth-graders also drew cityscapes on mini-versions of paper skateboards and added their own interpretations.

Giselle Nunez added clouds to her cityscape and Jasmine Davis added a lot of detail by drawing in bricks.

"I'm a great artist," said Robyn Phillips. "If it has anything to do with Sharpies, I'll do it."

Rivard is a spokesman for Sharpie pens, which he uses to draw his art.

Alyssa Aaby has learned how to compensate for the distance between the lumpy end of a Sharpie pen and the pencil line she drew on. Aaby is considering becoming an architect.

To frame Rivard's autograph, Dakiria Acosta decorated the edges of a sheet of paper with scallops and flowers.

Students asked Rivard about his skiing career before he became an artist.

"I was chasing my dream to become a professional skier," he said, but was injured numerous times.

"I broke a lot of things," he said, adding that while recovering, he re-discovered his love of drawing and began by decorating a skateboard in 2003.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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