The work of a world-traveling mural painter can now be found in Bend, at the skate school Bearings Skateboard Academy. John Pipes—who typically signs his murals under his professional moniker, Pipes Dreams—completed three pieces now on permanent display at BSA. According to Gabe Triplette, owner and coach at BSA, he and Pipes are longtime friends and share a deep passion for skateboarding.
Pipes came to town originally intending to paint two panels, but then added a third piece as a gift. The first is a huge replica of a 1983 Tony Hawk/Powell Peralta deck using graphics originally drawn by iconic skate artist VC Johnson. The giant deck got some attention on Instagram from the Bones Brigade—a group that includes some of the most high-profile names in skating—and garnered BSA and Pipes Dreams some major exposure.
The other giant deck became "Bend Your Bearings." For this piece, Pipes says he wanted to be very considerate of place—not only giving deference to skate culture and history but also to Bend and its place. He spent most of his downtime walking around to visit every mural site he could find, including The Capitol and Tin Pan Alley, as well as every gallery in town. He wanted to understand and be inspired by the community he was working in before he started to paint. Ultimately, he found his inspiration in the mountains. The final piece, which he signed with his own name to express his personal connection to it, is an homage to the style of Powell-Peralta—the iconic skate brand—depicting Broken Top at sunset with a skeleton skater doing a handplant on one of its rims. Classic skate style. While Pipes said he took great pride in sharing his work with an old friend, he said it was the strong response from the kids—BSA students—that meant the most.
To check out the murals in person, BSA has open sessions three times a week.
Bearings Skateboard Academy
615 Glenwood Dr. Ste. 115, Bend
Open Skate 3x weekly