Rachel Tribble: Longboards for Peace

Photo by Thomas Winter​​

The concept that art can produce an overwhelming feeling of serenity and a deeper connection to the universe is a key component artist Rachel Tribble has employed to spread her passion for peace.

“Meditation has always been the primary inspiration for my work, but its concept of universal connectedness truly became a way of life for me when I was fully submerged living and working with the Native American people,” Rachel explains.

Ultimately giving up her work as a professional artist to focus on the Native American community, she learned “how to walk in two worlds” and eventually re-ignited her passion for paint and colors. In 2008 and 2011 in a collaboration with the Walt Disney Company her art was featured as the poster for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and showcased at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festivals; the 2008 work becoming an award winning poster for Disney.  Her work has been featured in art books and national magazines, as well as gifted to nominees of the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, and the MTV Movie Awards.

“I am completely inspired by nature in those quiet moments… So when I paint I am trying to offer that to other people. When they look at my paintings, or they live with them like many people do, that they also can feel that connection to the universe and that connection to some serenity in their own lives…I’m [also] pretty outspoken about how I feel about what’s going on in the world right now, so I’m hoping that people of like mind respond.”

Joining forces with Michael Brooke, publisher of Concrete Wave magazine and pioneer of the Longboarding for Peace movement.   “Longboarding for Peace became involved with at-risk youth and started to teach them longboarding as a way of learning about balance in life and learning that you can overcome obstacles,: Rachel explains.  “Michael has worked in Israel with Palestinian and Israeli children bringing them together for a week at a time teaching them all to skateboard.”  Rachel noted that they have already reached people in over 30 countries.

The movement has also been spreading domestically in United States, with events in states such as Texas, where Texans were encouraged to trade weapons for skateboards in an effort to curb violence in the great Lone star state.

Longboarding for Peace’s most recent project is in support of the Native American activist and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), Leonard Pettier, who was imprisoned for the death of two FBI agents in the 1970’s. Many, including Amnesty International, believe he was wrongly convicted and labeled him as a political prisoner. Peace activists have been working for decades to have his sentence reversed.

Rachel, a longtime advocate for the rights of Native Americans, found out that Michael was starting a project to benefit Pettier. She jumped at the chance to create artwork for the cause. “Michael wanted to do a project that gave Leonard some public exposure to people that didn’t know about [his] case, Rachel concludes.  “He asked me to paint some longboards that would somehow define and quickly tell the story of Leonard, which was a challenge.  One board has a feel of earth, one board has a feel of darkness and water and the other board is one of red fire.  Longboarding for Peace is a movement I really believe in. It’s long boarders and skateboarders and anybody with a good heart and a desire to see peace in the world…it’s more of a pay it forward.  My hope is that when people are around my work or they live with my work, that it will inspire them and they will be inspired to do something peaceful and help other people.”

Find out more about Rachel’s art at her website and discover more about Longboarding for Peace at www.longboardingforpeace.org.

by Justin Soliva