Mural gives opportunity for artists and skaters to mix during Des Moines Streetstyle Open

Taylor Young, a 23-year-old skater from Minnesota, traveled to Des Moines to participate in the 3rd Annual Des Moines Streetstyle Open, a multi-day open street skating competition.

The final stop of the competition was at Lauridsen Skatepark, located in downtown Des Moines and the largest public skatepark in the United States.

Young placed sixth in the competition, securing a slot for finals. She said she is a fan of the different murals around Lauridsen Skatepark.

Professional and local skaters alike gather at Lauridsen Skatepark for the 3rd Annual Des Moines Streetstyle Open Sept. 23, 2023.

“They got the mural going on, the skate competition going on; those two cultures a lot of the time, like street art and skateboarding, will kind of fall hand in hand,” Young said. “[They’re] like similar cultures for sure and they end up kind of intermixing sometimes, so I think it’s sick.”

The start of a new mural was outlined and was marked with numbers that corresponded with the colors of paint to allow community members to participate in its creation.

Mural offers chance to welcome non-skates to Lauridsen Skatepark

Norm Sterzenbach, president of Skate DSM, said the community mural was intended to bring all community members to the skate park regardless of whether or not they skate.

“We really wanted to give some experiences for people to come down here, particularly those who may not follow skateboarding and it may not be their thing, but it’d be cool to come down and paint a little bit on a mural that’s gonna be here forever,” Sterzenbach said.

He said having planned events for community members to contribute to leads to less vandalism around the park.

“Art and skateboarding have been hand in hand from the very beginning,” Sterzenbach said. “A lot of skateboarders are creative people … so it always makes sense to have art associated with [the skating competition].”

The competition attracted professional and local skaters alike, as well as prominent professional skater sponsors.

“We’ve got people from all over the country that are just skate skaters, and then we’ve got about a dozen pro skaters and a dozen top amateur skaters here,” Sterzenbach said. “For them, it’s kind of cool to be skating with pro skaters in a contest and just having fun meeting them, getting autographs, pictures, talking to them — it’s just a nice vibe.”

Trinity Bierl, a skate coach with Skate DSM, said she saw children from the community go over to the mural and help fill it out.

Community members gathered to help paint the Des Moines skyline at the Lauridsen Skatepark Sept. 23, 2023.

“While everyone was skating and practicing, mostly all the kids came over and they had little paint buckets and little sponges for them,” Bierl said.

Individuals interested in getting involved with Skate DSM or getting skating lessons can learn more on its website, skatedsm.org.

“It’s the third year, it’s gonna keep getting bigger and bigger, so people should keep it on the radar,” Sterzenbach said. “Come down and check it out.”

Biong M. Biong is a reporting intern for the Des Moines Register. Reach him at bbiong@gannett.com.

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