For the Lightning Bolts Art Show, Nike teamed up with BMX Hall-of-Fame inductee, Bob Haro, recreating his original BMX number plate as an artist canvas. The Haro number plate is one of the first examples of iconic graphic design in the sport of BMX: meshing innovative performance with a platform for individual creativity: giving every kid in BMX a “blank canvas” to express themselves.
The Lightning Bolts Art Show was opened up to a select group of contemporary artists, each sharing a cultural connection to BMX. “BMX was my entry into a creative life, it provided a context for me to learn about design and to start a business. Most of my adult life has been influenced by the street culture that BMX initiated me into,” said Nick Philip in his artist statement.
The artist-interpreted plates threaded together individual stories of BMX: Childhood memories, homage to riders who have since passed away, and pure love of the sport. According to Hong Kong artist Michael Lau, “BMX is a part of my childhood memories. I still remember the days when I was trying to learn freestyle on BMX, realizing that BMX was more than just a bike to ride.” Lau contributed a number plate and a painting to Lightning Bolts, and helped design the China BMX Racing Uniform.
All artwork will be auctioned off this summer to help action sports foundation The Land of Plenty as they introduce at-risk youth to the world of BMX.
“I never thought thirty years ago, the silly idea of melting plastic over a stove would result in a product that is part of BMX history and lead to this truly amazing experience. It’s amazing to see Nike embracing BMX and honoring its heritage and creativity.” Said Bob Haro, Godfather of Freestyle BMX.
Theater-size screens looped footage of 4 decades of BMX, showcasing the evolution of BMX from dirt-racing to freestyle, and the progression of the next generation. Nike is proud to pay homage to everything BMX past and future, as the sport of BMX Racing is introduced as an Olympic Sport in the 2008 Summer Olympics.