Finding A Line. Music, Art & Skating in Washington, DC.

As you approach the abandoned lot behind Union Market in DC you begin to hear the hum of smooth rolling urethane wheels over Skatelite. The hum is occasionally interrupted by the sound of metal trucks scraping the cement coping. And then there’s the “applause,” banging skateboards on the deck as someone nails another spectacularly difficult trick. This is the Finding A Line skate bowl, the brainchild of local skater and artist Ben Ashworth.

Graffiti and wheat-paste art decorate the cinder-block wall; loud music — sometimes live, sometimes from Ben’s iPod — fills the DC air, and all the while around the edge of the bowl a dozen or so skateboarders of all ages and talent levels wait for their turn to drop in.

This is the place where artists, musicians & skaters come to push themselves; to interact and thrive. Everyone seeking a way, finding their line physically, artistically, and emotionally through the same space.

Ben Ashworth building a skate bowl in abandon lot near Union Market, DC.

Ben Ashworth building the Finding A Line bowl behind Union Market in Washington DC. September 2016.

Dave Mutarelli tosses 4x4 piece of lumber off skate bowl deck.

Dave Mutarelli begins work on the railings.

Construction worker cutting a 2x4 with circular saw.

Sawdust flies as worker operates circular saw.

Skateboarder gets some air at the Finding A Line bowl in Washington DC.

Skater tries out the newly finished bowl.

Near completion, skaters take their turns.

Skateboarder, Brewska, drops in the skate bowl. Motion blur with flash.

A new skater drops in.

Ben Ashworth's feet and board. skating right up against the coping.

Speed, grace, motion. Ben Ashworth skates right up against the coping.

Artist Anne Smith working on her wheat-paste art piece on the cinderblock wall at the Finding A Line skate bowl in DC.

Local artist Anne Smith created one if the first art pieces at the bowl. Here she is applying wheat-paste to the cinderblock wall.

Anne Smith and Ben Ashworth working on wheat-paste art project.

Artist Anne Smith finishes up her wheat-paste art piece on the cinderblock wall at the Finding A Line skate bowl in DC.

Blue paint on hand. Hand painting white canvas.

A student from Gallaudet University makes a hand print on large white canvas.

Brandon Lee Padayao shows off his body art next to some wall art. Tattoos and graffiti at the Finding A Line bowl in DC.

Brandon Lee Padayao, skater.

Tony Smallwood photographs Max Hoffman's self-tattooed leg.

Tony Smallwood photographs Max Hoffman’s self-tattooed leg.

Ben Hatchell shot from the top of warehouse. Aerial view.

Pro skater Ben Hatchell completes a wall ride.

Shadows of skaters at the Finding A Line Bowl behind Union Market.

Shadows of skaters at sunset.

Skater waiting for his moment to drop in. View of shadows of skaters hand and board on deck.

Shadow of skaters board as he waits to drop in.

A bandaged wrist and hand retrieves skateboard.

A bandaged wrist and hand retrieves skateboard.

Ben Ashworth jumps over backside of ramp, lands on front side.

Ben Ashworth showing off some skills.

Close up of skater doing a 5-0 grind. Motion blur, flash.

Robert Capa always said get closer!

Close up of skater just before the bailout, silhouetted against the dusky sky.

Skating at dusk, just about to bailout.

Custom chopper styled bike.

Zach Shapiro takes a couple laps around the Finding A Line lot on Ben Ashworth’s custom chopper styled bike.

Guitarist Durl Purry jamming at Findin A Line bowl party.

Durl Purry of Thaylobleu rockin’ one night at the bowl celebrating a Senior Art class from Gallaudet University.

Beer in hand, Brandon Lee Padayao mugs for the camera.

Brandon getting enthusiastic.

Alana flipping off the camera.

Alana letting everyone know how she feels!

Matt Ashworth with sparkler.

Matt Ashworth celebrates.

finding a line. daryl grier, skater designer for Tout Noir, flying!

Daryl Grier. Skater, designer for Tout Noir. Flyer.