A local artist is hoping some artistic inspiration will make the Keremeos Skatepark a more attractive community hub for the village’s young people.
Keremeos-based artist and facilitator Rachael Gurevitch recently received approval from the village for kids to paint the skatepark on 8th Street. She is hoping youth of all ages will come out to help paint the park beginning July 17 at 11 a.m. Because of its size, she said the project, called the Youth Mural & Graffiti Art Showcase, will likely last until the fall.
“I’d like to get the younger kids, too, because as they grow up they’re going to want to skate there,” Gurevitch said.
“I just really want the youth to be able to claim it as their own and to be able to show off their art publicly and to make their mark on the skatepark. It’s is going to be there for years. They can come back and show their kids.”
Gurevitch thought of the idea, she said, because she has seen videos from young skateboarders who skate at parks across the country who visit and call the Keremeos skatepark the “loneliest skatepark in the world” because of its remote location. She also recently moved back to Keremeos after living on Vancouver Island and felt it needed rejuvenating.
She is hoping the project will have the same kind of luck the Oliver skatepark had. It recently won a play space revitalization grant from the province worth up to $100,000 for its Small Wheels Playground project.
“The view is beautiful but nobody uses it because it is out of the way and there is nothing inviting about it—but it is great equipment. It’s a great skatepark.”
Gurevitch already has several young artists lined up. They are beginning to think about what they want to paint by sketching ideas. The plan is to break it down into sections to accommodate different schedules with hopes of completing it before school starts in September.
“The size of it is really intimidating so it’s a matter of looking at the space and taking the concepts and fitting them onto a large space,” she said. “Once we get the place vibrant and happy and interesting, then I think that whole area is going to have more attention drawn to it in a positive way. It will be nice to make it more of a social community hub and get locals out to it.”