Artist, photographer, musician, journalist, writer, editor, Executive Director of the Tony Hawk Foundation,, and skateboarder, Miki Vuckovich was the guest for Artist on Art, October 24, 2011. It was a great pleasure having Miki on show because I have been a longtime admirer of his art and the he exemplifies the idea of living your art and passion. Coincidently, Miki’s” art as life” has Santa Cruz roots.
As an 8 year old and living in Silicon Valley, Miki got his first skateboard at the Santa Cruz Flea Market. After what he refers to as, “the day of infamy,” July 31, 81, when the Winchester Skatepark in Campbell was closed and demolished, Miki had to come to the nearest sanctioned skateboarding park, Derby Park. As a tender pre-teen, he had to take a two hour bus ride from Cupertino to Santa Cruz to be able to skate. This may have been the seeds that sowed his lifelong work of helping bring skateboarding to kids. This desire is in direct alignment with the Tony Hawk Foundation’s mission and dedication to fostering lasting improvements in society by supporting and empowering youth through public skateboard parks all over the worlds.
After Miki moved with his family to San Diego and settled in at the Del Mar Skateboard Ranch—one of the few remaining skateparks in the world, he met many of his future colleagues and lifelong friends including Tony Hawk. He also began working at TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine.
Along with skateboarding at the age of 8, Miki began his other passion, photography. He shot photos and edited at href=”http://skateboarding.transworld.net/” target=”_blank”>TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine for 15 years. Most recently, Miki has been working and sharing his images with an iPhone App called Instagrams. This is a social photo sharing application connecting people all over the world. He came to the app through the developer and fellow Director on Tony Hawk Foundation Board, Chris Sacca.
We also talked about upcoming an event, Tony Hawk’s Stand Up For Skateparks Benefit, happening Saturday, November 5th from 12:30pm to 4:30pm at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada. This family-centric action-sports carnival brings Tony’s ramp for an intimate Vert Demo with Tony and a Who’s Who of pro skateboarding and BMX! Featuring great activities, interactive games, food, and a special musical guest, Ben Harper. Purchase tickets at standupforskateparks.org
To hear our broadcast in its entirety, please click the gray ‘play’ button below: [haiku url=”http://miljkovic.org/old_public_html/nada/aoa102411a.mp3″ title=”Miki Vuckovich” graphical=”true”]
To see pictures and read more about Miki’s career, click on the “Read More” below.
Since embracing the then subculture of skateboarding as a young person, Miki has traveled the globe to skate and has worked for a number of manufacturing and media companies in the skate industry. Through these experiences he has learned one essential truth: Regardless of their native culture, youth the world over seek the very challenge and excitement that skateboarding and action sports offer.
Comprised of a diverse range of characters, the skatepark community was tight-knit and unique. Unfortunately, by the end of the decade, they no longer had the Skate Ranch, or anywhere like it, to congregate. So, Miki and his fellow skateboarders did the only thing they could—they hit the streets.
During more than a decade as an editor and photographer at TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine, and later as a producer with the celebrated ON Video Skateboarding documentary series, Miki was able to share the stories he collected in his travels with broad audiences, and remind readers and viewers that skateboarding is what you make it, and never the same thing to two different people.
But it’s been with his work as Executive Director of the Tony Hawk Foundation that Miki has found the greatest reward—helping Tony spread the word about the importance of giving kids free access to quality skateparks, and working with cities and community groups across the U.S. to get concrete in the ground.
Miki served as a founding member of the Board of Directors, from 2002–2008, and since 2004 has been the organization’s executive director.
The Tony Hawk Foundation provides critical technical support as well as financial grants to stimulate the proliferation of public skateparks where they’re needed most—in low-income communities where youth have limited access to recreational opportunities.
Having experienced first-hand what skateboarding—and a local skatepark—can do for youth, Miki’s committed to his work promoting the truth about skateboarding and action sports—that they represent a vital and positive force in the lives of those who are naturally drawn to get on a board and go. Wherever they may be.