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Monday, April 1, 2024

First Black Woman Skateboard Artist Makes History, Takes Center Stage at First Solo Museum Exhibit

Latosha Stone-Keagy

Nationwide — The Richmond Art Museum is proud to host an inspiring exhibition by Latosha Stone-Keagy, also known as ToshaIsGnarly, celebrating women’s empowerment, skateboarding, diversity, and the influence of anime in her contemporary art.

Hailing from Greenville, Ohio, Stone-Keagy is a painter and graphic designer renowned for her captivating artworks that depict cute yet fiercely empowered women. Drawing inspiration from anime and surrealism, her vibrant pieces demand a second glance, inviting viewers into a world where strength and femininity converge.

The exhibition, marking Latosha’s first solo museum show, features an eclectic mix of original skateboard deck designs, oil paintings, and digital art prints. Visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in her unique artistic vision and explore the intersection of art, culture, and self-expression.

“I’m thrilled and honored to have my first solo art show at the Richmond Art Museum. It’s a dream come true to see my artwork displayed alongside such talented artists. As a skateboarder and artist, this exhibition is a celebration of both passions, bridging the gap between skate culture and fine art. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my journey and inspire others to follow their creative pursuits.”

Latosha’s artistic journey began at a young age when she was captivated by the world of art. Her first inspiration was an uncle who lived with her temporarily and painted landscapes. In school, she was the kid who couldn’t resist sketching in the margins of homework. She recalls a pivotal moment in second grade when she won an award for a deer she had meticulously drawn. It was a proud accomplishment, but upon taking it home, the enthusiasm was met with ridicule from someone close. Looking back, that experience might have been a turning point, fueling a determination within to continue pursuing her passion for drawing. In middle school, her focus shifted towards capturing the essence of her favorite celebrities through intricate portrait work. It was during this time that she discovered the power of drawing people to convey emotions and connect with others on a deeper level. Those early experiences set the foundation for her artistic journey, shaping her into the artist she is today.

Latosha’s accomplishments extend beyond the realm of fine art, as she is also the owner of Proper Gnar, the first black woman-owned skateboarding company. Her original skateboard designs gained popularity in 2020 when they were featured in HBO’s TV show “Betty” and Beyoncé’s Black Parade website. Subsequently, her work was showcased with Pop Tarts and DC Comics’ “Naomi” TV show. Through Proper Gnar, she has disrupted the traditional skateboarding landscape, empowering women, especially women of color, to embrace skate culture and challenge stereotypes.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

• Original skateboard deck designs featuring Stone-Keagy’s signature style
• Vibrant oil paintings and digital artwork that celebrate strength, femininity, and representation
• Artist talk where she shares her story and teaches youth how to design their own board

The exhibition was on view at the Richmond Art Museum from February 10 – March 30th, offering visitors a unique opportunity to engage with captivating visuals and thought-provoking narratives. If you missed the show, some art is still available for purchase in her online store.

For more information, please visit ToshaisGnarly.com or RichmondArtMuseum.org, or contact info@propergnar.com