Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Museum of Man Hosts Opening Event Launching Ramp It

sdmom_riu_press_release-final.pdf Download this file

Tel: (619) 239-2001, ext. 16

Museum of Man Hosts Opening Event Launching Ramp It
Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America on April 28th

The San Diego Museum of Man in Balboa Park welcomes the Ramp It Up exhibit from the
Smithsonian Institution with demonstrations by professional skateboarders and an open skate
invitation on the indoor mini skate-ramp.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, April 12, 2012 – Showing for the first time outside the
Smithsonian Institution, Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America begins its 12-city
national tour at the San Diego Museum of Man (SDMoM) on Saturday, April 28th, 2012. The
public is invited to attend the opening day event, which will feature guided tours by exhibit
curator Betsy Gordon and professional skateboarding demonstrations on the mini skate ramp,
which has been designed and built by Spohn Ranch Skateparks. Opening festivities are included
in the price of regular admission. The Ramp It Up exhibit will be on display until September 9,
2012 at SDMoM.

The new exhibit features examples of skate decks from Native companies and contemporary
artists, and rare images and video of Native skaters. It showcases the work of visual artists
Bunky Echo-Hawk (Yakama/Pawnee), Joe Yazzie (Navajo), Traci Rabbit (Cherokee Nation of
Oklahoma), and Dustinn Craig (White Mountain Apache/Navajo). Ramp It Up also traces the
history of skateboarding, from its origins in Native Hawaiian communities, to the Southern
California surf culture, to the rest of the United States and beyond.

“Skate culture is a great lens to learn about both traditional and contemporary Native American
culture,” says Betsy Gordon, curator of Ramp It Up. “This exhibition focuses on the Native
skater as well as the Native elders, parents, government officials, and community activists who
have encouraged their kids to skate.”

Professional skateboarders (and brothers) Augustin Lerma III (Augie) and Armando Lerma
(Mando) from the local Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians will be performing a
professional demo on the mini-ramp, which will be built on SDMoM’s South Balcony.
Throughout the 4-month run of the exhibit, the mini-ramp will also be open to the public at
selected times.

The exhibit includes rare 1973 home-movie footage of Zephyr surf team members Ricky and
Jimmy Tavarez (Gabrielino-Tongva), and photographs of other iconic skateboard athletes. The
Lerma brothers are featured in the Smithsonian exhibit, along with other local tribes, including
the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, the Pala Band of Mission Indians, and Gabrielino-Tongva.
Local support for Ramp It Up at is provided by skateboarding nonprofit organizations the Tony
Hawk Foundation and Elemental Awareness, as well as action sports brands 1031 Skateboards;
Blackbox Distribution; deckstool; Dekline Footwear; Element; Fallen Footwear; Nike; Pro-Tec;
and Spohn Ranch Skateparks. Also sponsoring the exhibit at SDMoM are the Barona Band of
Mission Indians; KCM Group; Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Foundation, as recommended by
Marnie Cheney; McKenna, Long, & Aldridge; the Pala Band of Mission Indians; Premise
Immersive Marketing; Rick Engineering Company; the San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Mission
Indians of California; the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation; and Sports Medicine at UC San
Diego Health System.

About SDMoM: AAM Accredited and Smithsonian Affiliate

Located beneath the ornate 200-foot California Tower, SDMoM is the city’s only museum
devoted to anthropology and archaeology. With its Spanish colonial and mission-style
architecture, the landmark building was originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-California
Exposition. Today, SDMoM is dedicated to using its world-class collections, dynamic exhibits,
and compelling educational programs and events to fulfill its mission of Inspiring human
connections by exploring the human experience. For more information about SDMoM, please

About Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES):

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with
millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for almost 60 years. SITES connects Americans to
their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history,
which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour
schedules are available at

About the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian:

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is the first national museum
dedicated to the preservation, study and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history and
arts of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere. Established by an act of Congress in 1989,
the museum works in collaboration with Native peoples and communities to protect and foster
their cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression
and empowering the Native voice,

For more information or to schedule an interview with SDMoM CEO, Dr. Micah Parzen, or the
Exhibits Manager, Phil Hoog, please contact Hope Carlson at (619) 239-2001, ext. 16 or

No comments: