The Empire Skates Back

Fans who attended Celebration V this year were not only treated to a Star Wars Tattoo Contest, but also had the chance to check out skateboard decks painted by exceptional tattoo artists. The decks were auctioned off during the Make-A-Wish Auction
The Force in the Flesh author Shane Turgeon, who organized the event called “The Empire Skates Back,” contacted some incredible talent to transform the decks into one-of-a-kind works of art for a good cause.
Can you describe the gist of the Star Wars Tattoo Art show for fans who didn’t get a chance to see it?
The show was called “The Empire Skates Back.” In celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, 30 tattooers were each given a blank skateboard deck to paint, sculpt, or build their homage, rendition or interpretation of this amazing film. Unfortunately, only 22 decks arrived in time for the show, but they were all unbelievable works of art.

Why did you decide to have a tattoo art show at Celebration this year?
What many people don’t know is that many tattoo artists are accomplished fine artists as well, and their canvas ranges from the skin to more traditional art mediums. After seeing The Vader Project at CIV and CE, I thought it would be a great idea to involve tattoo artists in a similar project. As skateboarding and tattooing as still somewhat underground, it seemed only natural to combine the two.

I also really respect and appreciate the work that the Make-A-Wish Foundation does and I thought it would be the perfect touch to have the decks auctioned in conjunction with the TK Helmet project to help raise funds and awareness for this great charity.
Which artists were involved in the show?
Chris Iwaniuk, Zack Neigel, Guy Aitchison, James Woodford, Luis Villagomez, Adam Hays, Matt Difa, Needles, Matt Ellis, Bruce White, Kirk Douglass, Miles Kanne, Vinny Romanelli, Aaron Cain, Mario Bell, Rob Meyer, Dave Bryant, Theresa, Gordon Wade, Marc Draven, Durb Morrison, Nikko Hurtado, Steve Hayes, Bob Tyrell, JR Maloney, Nick Baxter, Wayde Dunn, Joe Capobianco, Scott Veldhoen, Taylor Hudson and Bobby Tripp.
How much money did the decks make for Make-A-Wish?
When the decks were auctioned off on Sunday we raised $12,300 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation!