For Arts Sake to host 'Paint and Skate' at Island Park

Rahim Elgammal of Mount Pleasant spends the afternoon skateboarding March 24 at Mount Pleasant Skate Park.

For Arts Sake, a local Mount Pleasant art boutique, will be hosting a community “Paint and Skate” event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 13 at Island Park. Megan Bair, co-founder of FAS, said the event is a chance for anyone in the Mount Pleasant community to paint the skate ramps. 

Bair said she likes to go to Island Park with her 5 year old son, Roman, to skate and bike. The skate ramps at the park are currently blue, with painted-over graffiti marks visible underneath. 

“My creative, entrepreneurial brain just couldn’t not think about making (the ramps) nicer,” Bair said.

Bair said another reason she started this project was to help reverse the stigma of a skate park not being a kid-friendly place. With Paint and Skate, she hopes to get the message out to Mount Pleasant citizens that skating at Island Park can be a family-friendly activity.

“There’s a lot of very cool people that use this space, but I feel like it could just be more inviting,” Bair said. 

With the goal of making this a community painting event, Bair wanted to make sure that everyone felt comfortable participating, no matter their skill level. She said the ramps will be decorated like “giant paint-by-number” sets, and used her sketches of suns, plants and mythical creatures as inspiration for paintings. 

Several Mount Pleasant organizations and community members will be at Paint and Skate. 

Thrive Church, a non-denominational church in town, will be bringing in several volunteers to help run the event, as well as providing popcorn, cotton candy and slushies.

Cruisin’ Chef food truck will also be at Island Park, serving burgers and pulled pork.

There will be several bands performing live music in the park, including Nidaria, Volt Amps and others.

The Mount Pleasant Optimist Club, a local organization committed to “bringing out the best in kids” according to their website, will be giving away helmets at the event. 

Central Michigan Mayhem Roller Derby, a women’s flat-track roller derby team in Mount Pleasant, will be there to skate, paint, and volunteer.

Rain Daugherty, a regular volunteer at FAS, plans on hosting face-painting at the park. 

“I love to see communities coming together for big projects like this,” Bair said. “This is a project that anyone can contribute to, and every time they see it think, ‘oh yeah, remember when I got to paint that?’”

Paint and Skate will be supported by Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation and funded in it’s entirety by the Mount Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.