Participants at Paper Crane have been hard at work using a new medium that is both artistic and functional.

Paper Crane is an expressive arts service at Ranch Ehrlo that helps participants to express their thoughts and feelings and promotes their personal growth and healing.

Participants use different tools and techniques so that everyone can create, regardless of what their artistic abilities may be.

The group is currently creating art using old skateboards.

The idea came from Schaller Education Centre teacher Josh Hughes and former teacher Nolan Malbeuf, who started painting their own skateboards last summer. They lent two unpainted boards to Dustin Ritter, art facilitator for Paper Crane, so participants could experiment.

Dustin said, “The experiment went so well that we have now designed and painted around 10 boards. We used some of Nolan’s tattoo designs as inspiration as well as our own original designs.”

Fortunately, some people from the community donated some old boards. Dustin and the participants refurbished them, and they’re now being painted.

“Working on skateboards has been very exciting for the participants because working on a functional piece of art they might be able to take home and use one day adds extra incentive into putting in more effort and creating better artwork,” Dustin explained.

He went on to say that they don’t have enough skateboards for everyone yet.

Paper Crane plans to raffle off the finished skateboards to the participants sometime in the spring.

If you would like to donate a skateboard to the project, please email Dustin Ritter at