Near the entrance of Morey's Piers' Adventure Pier on the Boardwalk, tucked in a corner to the left, sits the artBox, a 10,000-square-foot artists' colony created out of 11 repurposed shipping containers stacked side-by-side and on top of one another, which people can walk into and explore.
Each box showcases something different. One is a cafe serving fresh sushi, another is a museum shop housing New Jersey memorabilia and five others are art studios featuring the work of New Jersey artists, including glass blower Peter C. Bieling, of Florence Township, Burlington County, unconventional surf art artist David Macomber, of Cape May, and others.
The artBOX also has one empty shipping container, which for this week only is housing an exhibit called "Skate & Recreate," featuring one-of-a-kind artwork made out of broken, repurposed skateboards and skateboard pieces.
The lead artist on this short-term exhibit is Cape May resident Lou Fermonte, who specializes in this unique art form. Fermonte is a member of Skate AC, a grassroots organization established in 2011 with a goal of advocating, educating and promoting skateboarding on the East Coast, particularly in New Jersey.
Macomber, a seasonal artist at the artBOX and a friend of Fermonte, suggested the idea to host the temporary "Skate & Recreate" in the uninhabited box.
"Fermonte is a friend of mine, and I knew he made art from old broken skateboards and we had an empty box, so I asked Jack Morey if we could bring him in, and now we have it," Macomber said.
The focal pieces of the "Skate & Recreate" show are Fermonte's series of wooden hearts created out of out of beat up and broken pieces of skateboards.
"Every skateboard has a custom graphic, and that's why you buy a certain skateboard," Macomber said, "so when it breaks you lose that piece of art. This is an opportunity to keep the art."
Macomber and Bieling also created repurposed skateboard artwork for the show, and Ocean City jewelry artist Lynn Weiler made wearable pieces from skateboards parts. All work is for sale.
Bieling said it fits well in the artBOX's repurposed, reuse style.
"We're reusing these shipping containers and reusing this empty space and creating artwork here," he said. "So what better than to take broken skateboard parts and make something new out of them."
"Skate & Recreate" opened July 19 and ends tomorrow, July 25. However, if all goes well, and Morey's Piers approves, the artBOX may be hosting additional visiting art shows in the empty space, Macomber said.
"What we really want to do is to bring more awareness to the whole artBOX colony," he said. "So if people come for the new show, hopefully, they will come and see the other artists who are here, too."
Contact Elisa Lala: