PICNIC SURF SHAPES founders Alden Pinnell and Gregory Ruppe hang out in the PICNIC space in Dallas (Photo by Kevin Todora)
Outside the PICNIC shop in Galveston, where the Hotdog Generation Event will be hosted on August 26 (Courtesy of PICNIC SURF SHAPES)
The PICNIC SURF SHAPES shop in Galveston, with unique surfboards made by Greg Ruppe and PICNIC brand merchandise.(Courtesy of PICNIC SURF SHAPES)
The PICNIC SURF SHAPES space, ancillary to The Power Station, in Dallas, TX (Photo by Kevin Todora)
Inside the PICNIC SURF SHAPES space, ancillary to The Power Station, in Dallas, TX (Photo by Kevin Todora)
"AZN Clam" by Amy Yao at the PICNIC curatorial space in Dallas. PICNIC has both a surf brand and a curatorial branch that shows fresh and interesting works. (Photo by Kevin Todora)
Looking for a fun way to spend one of the last weekends of summer, less than an hour and a half from Houston? An artsy party is waiting for you. PICNIC SURF SHAPES, a surf brand with an art curatorial bent, is hosting “Hotdog Generation” with artists Iva Kinnaird and Bradly Brown at PICINC’s location in Galveston.
The event, timed to coincide with the Galveston ArtWalk on Saturday, August 26, is a new iteration of an event Kinnaird initiated with PICNIC in June. It plays on the famous 1967 surf movie The Hot Generation and takes inspiration from the term “hotdogging.” Hotdogging was popular surfing terminology during the 1950s and 1960s that typically described a flashy style of surfing, one that incorporated stunts and showy tricks.
Nowadays, it’s more common to hear that type of surfing called ripping or flaring up.
Hotdog Generation will be an open event, complete with PICNIC merchandise and actual hot dogs being grilled and served up (both vegan and vegetarian dogs). It is also an artist’s gathering.
PICNIC SURF SHAPES was founded by artist Gregory Ruppe in collaboration with Alden Pinnell, the founder and owner of the contemporary art space The Power Station in Dallas. Ruppe’s original inspiration for PICNIC came in early 2020 when the onset of the pandemic magnified and clarified his growing sense of disillusionment with the art world, leading to the idea of a picnic for one, something like a residency for rejuvenation and reimagination that extended to his artistic practice.
Drawing on his experience with woodworking and a childhood of surfing trips, Ruppe began making custom surfboards. The practice stuck,and the name PICNIC SURF SHAPES was born.
Besides the handmade boards and other surf goods, PICNIC also developed a curatorial arm dubbed PICNIC CURATORIAL PROJECTS, which launched at The Power Station. This side of PICNIC showcases a diverse cast of artists. This recently included AZN Clam by Amy Yao, a sculptural show exploring the symbolic language attached to invasive species.
Yao’s work often deals with climate change and environmental destruction, a theme that ties with Ruppe’s efforts to be environmentally conscious in the creation of his surfboards and the overall impact of PICNIC.
“I’ve worked in ways that, particularly curatorially, try to maximize content and experience through very minimal action,” Ruppe tells PaperCity. “I think that amazing projects can happen with very little resources, very little money. And they don’t require massive institutional upheaval.
“Building and shipping and all these things that we’ve become sort of used to in the art world.”
PICNIC SURF SHAPES has a physical presence in both Dallas and Galveston. PICNIC CURATORIAL PROJECTS can be found in an ancillary building by The Power Station in downtown Dallas, functioning both as a surf shop and as an exhibition space. The storefront at 2510 Market Street in Galveston will host Hotdog Generation on Saturday, August 26 from 6 to 9 pm. For more information, go here.