Samuel Masters for Art-Sheep
Skatopia is not your average skate park and it is safe to say that it is definitely the complete opposite of what a parent would approve of. Situated on a farmland in Rutland, Ohio, an incredibly small town of no more than 500 inhabitants, it was created by skateboarder Brewce Martin in 1996 and sustained by donations and sponsorships, as well as Martin’s and the visitors’ work hours.
These “88 acres of anarchy” and the mixture of different people that is attracted to them, in visits that span from a day to whole months, have captured the interest of then-photography student Travis Dove, who in 2007 started frequently visiting the compound during a three-month period to bear witness through his photography series to the skate park’s crazy everyday life, as well as during Bowl Bash, the park’s annual three-day party . As he says, “Skatopia is not the most inviting environment for the average tourist on any day, but during these epic blowouts it turns into a bit of a war zone. It’s an extreme place, and that is the most extreme time to be there; and in photography, extremes are interesting”.