By Lt. James Campbell
For the second year, Avenal State Prison’s incarcerated artists have applied their skills to a unique canvas — skateboards. The redesigned boards are then donated to Fresno Skateboard Salvage, run by Rodney Rodriguez. (Learn more about the organization at their website.)
The artists, housed on Facilities E and F, designed and painted the skateboards. Boards can’t be decorated with gang symbols, graphic sexual imagery, explicit subject matter or vulgarity. Beyond those rules, the artists used their imaginations, reflecting socially relevant topics, superheroes, sports icons and pop culture.
When complete, Rodney Rodriquez receives the skateboards and auctions them to the public to raise money for the non-profit organization.
The organization in turn gives back to the youths in surrounding communities. A skater himself, Rodriguez visits skate parks in search of youth who may be in need of equipment upgrades and provides them with new boards and safety equipment.
Because of the artistic skills put to use by those incarcerated at Avenal State Prison, it is possible to provide thousands of dollars, all benefiting community youths. This project helps youths stay out of trouble and develop a love of the sport.
See more rehabilitation stories.