• Galleria@City Hall
  • John Rosenthal

    How to Build a Skateboard

    June 14 - August 15, 2022

    Above: John D. Rosenthal, "Britannia Ship Yard," acrylic on plywood, 2020; "Finn Slough," acrylic on plywood, 2020 and "No 2 Road," acrylic on plywood, 2020.

    Exhibition Statement

    At a time when fear, uncertainty, and hopelessness have become a regular part of daily conversations, the works of John D. Rosenthal turn our attention towards innocence, quiet, and the celebration of the everyday. This collection of Rosenthal’s paintings on skateboards presents images of familiar places around Richmond and Steveston, evoking both nostalgia and a sense of refuge. 

    The artist creates a sense of peaceful stability by drawing from images of nature and signs of human habitation, but one that is distanced from the digital. Rosenthal juxtaposes the time-honored medium of painting with the skateboard, a contemporary object of leisure. This technique points to the balance that the artist strives to achieve between navigating the oft fast-paced lifestyle of the present and attempting to peacefully disengage from its trappings. As he says “To learn to break away, then to transcend…”. His preference for painting on an object associated with forward motion also speaks to the artist’s own optimism and belief in  progress. “There is nowhere where we cannot go…May we live in hope so that others may also find hope,” notes Rosenthal.

    Artist Biography

    John D. Rosenthal lives and works in Steveston, BC. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Rosenthal is a painter, independent author,  art instructor, and children’s book illustrator. He loves to share playful painted imagery on skateboards and canvases large and small. For further inquiries about purchasing his works, contact the artist through his Instagram account: @monkeysgosurfing.

    About City Hall Galleria

    As part of the Richmond Art Gallery’s outreach to the community, the Gallery displays artworks by local artists at the Richmond City Hall Galleria every 6 to 8 weeks.

    The Galleria is located on the main floor of Richmond City Hall, 6911 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC. Viewing hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Galleria is not open on the weekends or during public holidays. To enter the Richmond City Hall, please use the entrance leading to the City Hall cashiers. Any door may be used to exit the building.

    Refer to for the submission form if you are an artist interested in displaying your artwork at the City Hall Galleria.


    Above: John D. Rosenthal, "Britannia Ship Yard," acrylic on plywood, 2020; "Finn Slough," acrylic on plywood, 2020 and "No 2 Road," acrylic on plywood, 2020.
    WATCH: A behind-the-scenes look at John D. Rosenthal's art practice as he prepares for the off-site exhibition "How to Build a Skateboard" at City Hall Galleria in June 2022.


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