Work in Progress: Skating Tree Town

I wanted to take this week to share some of my own creative work. I’m currently working on my Senior Studio thesis project at Stamps–a semester or year-long individual project. My thesis specifically focuses on skate culture in Ann Arbor. Skating Tree Town is an extended zine publication about Ann Arbor skateboarding culture, specifically documenting the 1980s – present. Since stepping foot on my first Spongebob skateboard in second grade, to cruising around campus as a college student, to committing myself to learning to finally ollie this summer, I have always been interested in skateboarding on a social and artistic level. Because Ann Arbor is a place where people aren’t afraid to “let their freak flag fly” I hope to highlight the unique voices of Ann Arbor skaters, who range greatly in identity but all connect through a shared love for skateboarding. The end goal for my project is to release a book that chronicles Ann Arbor skate history, its implications in contemporary culture, and the individuals within it, sharing the passion of Ann Arbor skateboarding with others.

For the past two months, I have been interviewing and photographing skateboarders at various locations around the city, from the Diag, to the Ross building, to the skatepark, and many in between. Sometimes interviews are planned weeks in advance, other times involve an impromptu photoshoot with a stranger. I’ve also been fortunate to even talk to and skate with Dug Song, the CEO of Duo and longtime Ann Arbor skateboarder, as well as the Ann Arbor Skatepark Board. From all of these interviews and photos, I’ve been utilizing my graphic design skills to add my own touch to the publication. Below are some unedited shots from the upcoming project, hope you enjoy!

Jonah and Kyto
Olympia Skateshop
Shredding bowls
Live 2 Skate
Skaters Over 50


Student at the University of Michigan studying Art & Design and Communication & Media, hoping to create meaningful design for social impact. Every week I highlight an intriguing artist (or group of artists)!

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2 Comments on "Work in Progress: Skating Tree Town"

Dori McDowell
3 months 13 days ago

Great article! My son Jayden is an Ann Arbor boarder & A2 Sk8Park regular. I live in South Texas now & you’ve got this Mama all in her feels missing her sk8rboi. Lots of emergency room visits, ruined clothing & years of worry, but wouldn’t change a thing! Sk8 culture is definitely part of him & our family’s story. And #treetown is where my heart lives, studies & skates. Sk8 safe!