Opening Date: August 28, 2021 – October 15, 2021
Location: Oak Cliff Cultural Center
During the cultural inception of skateboarding in America, the portrayal of a skater was often one dimensional. Despite its welcoming nature, skateboarding focused on the white, suburban youth market. But over the last 2 decades, with media exposure and more skaters of color, skateboarding is now a growing outlet for diverse communities with a need to express themselves through the medium. Today, the continuing integration and accessibility of skateboarding has changed ideas of who a skateboarder can be but issues of income inequality remain prominent in the discussion for community skateparks.
About the Exhibit
Marine Park is a photographic series centering around a Fort Worth skatepark that local skateboarders have found both community and solace in. The photographs share the faces and details that can be found in an otherwise desolate and makeshift course that many lower income and communities of color may experience. Making due and finding peace with the skatepark’s unique personality.
“Over the last two years I have returned to this place to document, take part and capture the beauty found at Marine Park, the idiosyncrasies of skateboarding culture and the visual language it speaks through a group of people that have embraced its lifestyle.” -Raul Rodriguez, 2021
About the Artist
Raul Rodriguez is a photographer, artist, curator and educator from Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated with a BFA from the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design with a focus in Photography. As an artist he investigates communities and cultures like skateboarding, boxing, and Lucha Libre, as well as social justice topics linked to the Latino identity. His projects reveal the layers and complexities of his personal and cultural experience as a first generation Mexican-American. His work has been exhibited in galleries and spaces including the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Works Art, The Oak Cliff Cultural Art Center, Southern Methodist University and the Latinx Project at New York University. He has worked with museums and organizations like Make Art with Purpose, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. In 2020, Raul received the Nasher Sculpture Center Artist Grant for his photographic community platform, Deep Red Press focusing on underrepresented artists in Texas.