Since 2014, Skateistan has been supported by The Skateroom, a Belgian company that creates art on skate decks for social impact. In 2017, The Skateroom introduced us to Robin Rhode, the influential South African artist, who collaborated with The Skateroom on a set of boards to raise money for Skateistan. Robin also became a Citizen of Skateistan at that time, joining our global community of skaters, supporters and students who share our dream of empowering children through skateboarding and education.
In January, Robin helped to put that dream into action at Skateistan South Africa by running a two session art workshop with our Skate and Create students.
The art workshop was designed to help students to explore their creative side. Robin showed them how to use soft pastels to draw waves, birds and flowers. Students used water colors to illustrate nature and to create skateboard deck designs - just like the Skateroom decks.
Robin’s workshops gave a platform for students to share their growth stories ever since they started skateboarding, what they loved about skateboarding and how skateboarding has helped them become the people they are today. This is right at the heart of what we at Skateistan believe about the power of skateboarding and creative education - that both elements can help children to grow and to express themselves.
Each session had 43 students (aged 4 to 13) and they loved it!
Capacity building is a key part of what we do at Skateistan and we welcome opportunities like this, not only to show someone what we’re up to, but to learn from them as well. Sibo, one of our Educators in South Africa, is taking on lessons from the sessions with Robin: “As an Educator I also learnt that giving the children a sense of freedom in the art they create adds more fun to the class.”
Afterwards, Robin had this to say: