The Red Bull Wake Open is just around the corner, kicking off on Friday, July 13, and continuing on Saturday, July 14 in Downtown Tampa. While wakeboarders from around the country are busy limbering up for the competition, several local Florida artists are also busy creating wakeboard art pieces for the Red Bull Wake Art competition.
Red Bull invited local artists from around Florida to create unique pieces of art, using wakeboards as their canvas, with creations inspired by the question “what gives you wings?”.
We were able to get in touch with a handful of these artists to get a sneak peek at their wakeboards and find out the many different inspirations behind the designs. For some, the designs are not complete, so you’ll have to attend the Red Bull Wake Open to see the final product, as well as other wakeboard pieces not featured.
Lauren Rasch, a Seminole Heights resident, says that sometimes spaghetti gives her wings. “At the risk of sounding like a graduation speech, people often need reminding that the world is large and desires should be sought out and grabbed… Sometimes all I desire to grab is a big plate of spaghetti. So sometimes, my wings are spaghetti.” Her piece, Spaghetti Midler, features a sea of noodles behind three flying heads.
South Tampa resident Rj Runas, on the other hand, says his two favorite people in the world, his son and his dog, give him wings. His wakeboard, dubbed “Captain Awesome”, features his son, Duncan, as a superhero, with Norman the Dog as his trusty sidekick.
For Marlon Huynh, from Tampa, the answer to “what gives you wings” was easy: The Tampa Bay Lightning. “Nothing gets me more pumped up and out of my seat like being at a game and cheering with other Lightning fans after every hit, save, goal, and victory.” His piece, “Victory” depicts the Tampa Bay Lightning after a win.
John Alexander Carvajal
Some boards, like Sarasota resident John Alexander Carvajal’s, are inspired by basic instincts. He says life, struggle, survival, and death are what gives him wings. His board depicts an owl and a snake in battle. “The design of an owl and a snake in mid-struggle for their own survival, one will live and one will die, but that is the beauty of life.”
Clearwater photographer Ashley Roper calls her piece “The Light Factory”, saying light gives her wings. “When the lighting is just right it doesn’t matter how tired, sick, or busy I am- I want to grab my camera and go.” Her wakeboard features Polaroid-style photos from around the United States that reflect her love of light.
Jacqueline Ann Frierman
Elephants give Carrollwood resident Jacqueline Ann Frierman her wings. Jacqueline is strongly attached to the majestic animals, especially with regard to elephant cruelty. She named her piece “If Elephants Grew On Trees”. “What if elephants grew on trees and were able to birth new life from seedlings, daily. Roaming free and replenishing their species continuously. No fear of man, bull hooks, or abuse.”
Christian Ricca and Jennifer Tran
Clearwater residents Christian Ricca and Jennifer Tran get their wings from, and named their piece, “The Mirths”, after the fabled bringers of happiness.”Much like the fabled stork brings bundles of joy in the shape of babies, the Mirths bring happiness in the form of your favorite things. Whether you love ice cream or sky diving or just sleeping in, the Mirths will deliver in spades. So send them a request, maybe they’ll even give you their wings.”
These are just a handful of the wakeboard pieces you will be able to see if you attend the event. Other artists include:
Chad Cardoza from Riverview
Michelle Sawyer from Tampa
Brandon McLean from Orlando
Chris Deacon from Lake Magdalene
P$YNNER from Tampa
Tiffa Minsal from Spring Hill
Daniel Mrgan from Old Northeast
Adam Graham from St. Petersburg
Ken Hancock from New Tampa
The event, Wake Art, is a project in conjunction with Kick Start My Art, to celebrate Red Bull Wake Open, and will be on display at The Tampa Convention Center both Friday, July 13 from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM and Saturday, July 14 from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
Judges will select the top three pieces and those wakeboards will be awarded to the top three wakeboard athletes in the Red Bull Wake Open international wakeboarding competition.
The public will vote for one wakeboard to be awared the “People’s Choice” winner. More details about how to vote will be available on the Wake Art Project Facebook page.
Whether you want to be outside for some live action wakeboarding or check out the wakeboard art indoors (or both!), head to the Red Bull Wake Open at the Tampa Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, for some great entertainment.