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Vans-presented 'Get A Grip' art show to raise money for Phoenix skatepark

Janthavy Norton will host the event to fund the Central Phoenix Plaza Project


Inside of Cowtown Skateboards in Tempe, Arizona on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019.

An art show and auction presented by Vans will take place at Cowtown Skateboards on Nov. 15 to raise money for the Central Phoenix Skate Plaza Project. 

"Get a Grip" is free to attend and will feature a DJ, live art, a raffle and food. There will be both a silent and live auction of painted grip and artwork. 

The event will be hosted by Janthavy Norton who has been skateboarding for the past six years. Norton said she’s worked with Cowtown for a couple of years on skate-clinics and various events, so they have an ongoing relationship. 

The skatepark is going to be built close to a school, which Norton said she hopes will be beneficial for the kids in the area, and will “hopefully influence some kids to try something new.”

Norton said when she was trying to figure out how to fund the skatepark, she turned to art. 

"I thought, well there are artists out there that people don't know about, so we should try to get them some exposure and give them the opportunity to get involved in something local and a community event," Norton said.

Norton said all the money raised will go straight to building the skatepark.

"The goal is one, to get exposure for artists, raise money and then just bring people together and have a good time,” she said. “I think that we all get a little bit busy or focused on ourselves, so to see people come out for something other than themselves is really nice,” she said. 

Sabree Garcia, one of the artists who was chosen for the event, said her art is inspired by the ways in which grip tape is used and adds her own retro twist.

Garcia said she’s been an artist her whole life and has been skating since she was in middle school, so this event ties together two of her passions. 

"It’s all-around a good cause for skaters and for artists and honestly a good benefit for everyone,” she said. 

Tess Mallory, another artist chosen for the benefit, said she has been doing art her whole life and that she jumped at this opportunity because it was a way to showcase her art while supporting a good cause. 

“There aren't very many skate parks around central Phoenix, so that will be really cool for everyone who's living around that area because the skate scene is big in central Phoenix,” Mallory said. “I think putting a skate park there is going to be really good for the community.”

Mallory said she’s excited to meet different people from all over the Valley who are coming together with the same goal. 

“I feel like everyone’s going to get along pretty well and we’re all just going to have a good time,” she said. 

Norton said the students are welcome to attend the event, which will be held near the Tempe campus. 

“It’s going to be a very fun, open and creative space with a loving community coming together, and all are welcome,” Norton said. 

Reach the reporter at and follow @itsbrennaaaa on Twitter. 

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