Art in the Bowl x Vans US Open of Surfing

Art in the Bowl x Vans US Open of Surfing
written by — Torrey Cook, Gallery Owner, A.R.4.T

The Vans US Open of Surfing takes off this week in Huntington Beach. This just might be the biggest event in all of surfing – bringing thousands of people to Surf City USA. This year, after Nike pulled the plug on their sponsorship of the event, Vans stepped in and picked up the torch. Once again, the biggest names in surfing are coming out to play, there are huge bands including The Faint & Modest Mouse, tons of product giveaways, cute girls in bikinis and general mayhem and fun. But this year there are a couple of really cool things that I am especially excited about.

The first is the Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational – a longboard contest that brings out the worlds best and most stylish surfers. This group is the epitome of inventive surf style along with classic noseriding – and bottom line is they’re just plain fun. Alex Knost and his band Tomorrow’s Tulips have played A.R.4.T Gallery more than a few times, and artists like Tyler Warren have shown their work on the walls. They’re true to their community and it’s gonna be fun to watch this crew and their personalities out in the water… then party after.

The other thing about this years Vans US Open is the art. Vans has always been true to the culture of surfing and skateboarding. We all know that skateboarding and surfing are historically more expression than sport, but sometimes in the wake of big sponsored events it’s hard to get that point across. This year on the skate side of the US Open, the family at Vans came up with The Van Doren Invitational where the worlds best skateboarders will compete. Being true to skateboarding, it’s not just ramps and bleachers set up on the sand. Vans spent extra time building a tribute to the famous Marseilles France Skate Park. A legendary spot. Russ Pope brought in a crew of heavies to paint – Mike Giant. Rich Jacobs. Nathaniel Russell. Neil Blender. Matt French. Zio Ziegler. I had the very good luck of getting to hang out on day two of the painting session and watch it go down – a better crew you might not find. It felt like magic come to life – that feeling only topped as the boards start to come out and rip it. Gregg Kaplan, Marco Zamora and HEF are also part of the Open – painting shipping containers flanking the corners of the skate course, hanging out with the people and spreading the love of watching art happen live. Some of these guys have shown at A.R.4.T, PAS Gallery, Curbside and other independent galleries in Orange County – they are part of the ebb and flow of life here and they’re so accessible to the general public  – it’s a cool feeling to get to see them on such a large scale.

The Van Doren Invitational will be July 27th and 28th. Get there early for good seats, wear sunscreen and bring your camera. Follow for updated pics or on instagram @vans, @russpope, @zioziegler, @nathanielrussell or @ar4t. Here’s a few teaser photos in the meantime :



Neil Blender, Blaize, Russ Pope, photo: Vans


Nathaniel Russell @NathanielRussell, photo: Vans


Zio, Rich, Matt French, photo: Vans

Gregg Kaplan

Gregg Kaplan @platelunchspecial


Levi Jeane Photographer @ar4t // Zio Zeigler Artist @ziozeigler


Russ Pope & Mike Giant


Matt French - photo by Levi Cook


Vans Van Doren International prep


Zio @ZioZeigler


Vans Van Doren International prep


Nathaniel Russell @NathanielRussell, photo by Levi Cook


Zio. @ZioZiegler, photo by Levi Cook


Mike Giant, photo by Levi Cook


Russ Pope @RussPope, Torrey Cook @AR4T, photo by Levi Cook


Ripping @rattboy John Strattan


Ripping the Big Bowl


Rich Jacobs


Mike Giant


Russ Pope @RussPope


Ripping, Monday July 22, 2013


Ripping, Monday July 22, 2013

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