LAS CRUCES >> When Logan Howard, 26, and Saba, 32, two studio artists from West End Art Depot, opened Barricade Culture Shop, a local skateboard, paint and clothing store at 608 S. Solano Drive in February, they said it was a shot in the dark that they had to take.

“We have an addiction to painting and skating and there is no locally-owned skate shop or paint shops that offer quality artist paint, so we took those two factors and put our money together and this spot came as a blessing from a friend who has a shop down here,” said Saba, who goes by only one name.

Along with high-quality aerosol paint and a few brand name skateboards, like Chocolate and DGK, Barricade Culture shop offers what Howard and Saba call “homegrown products,” including jewelry, screen-printed T-shirts and other products made by local and regional artists.

Jett Loe–Sun-News Boards with custom-made graphics are lined up on a wall of the Barricade Culture Shop.

“It’s a storefront for (artists) to offer the goods they make and we keep track of their sales and then break off a consignment,” Saba said.

Barricade also offers homegrown skateboards, including the shop’s own boards and New Mexico-based brands like Decent Skateboards, Shotgun, Orange Curb and Dirtbag. Saba said they can also order more brand name skateboards online for customers who want them.

But Barricade is more than just a skate and paint store. Customers who venture past the front section of the store will enter a hallway that turns into a gallery, where local artists can showcase their work. A screen printing and art studio are also located in the back portion of the shop, along with a lounge area, where kids can hang out and play video games. Walk out the back door and there’s an enclosed outdoor area for skateboarders and hip hop dancers to practice and walls designated for aerosol art.

“It’s called Barricade Culture Shop because it’s the culture of skateboarding, the culture of hip hop,” Saba said. “A lot of people think that the culture of skateboarding is destructive in terms of property — the same with the culture of graffiti. It can be of course, but we also like to think of it as a remedy to a lot of aggression.”

Saba said the name ‘barricade’ refers to the barricades that are set before young people and people in general.

“As a skateboarder, you embrace the barricade,” he said. “You grind on it. As an artist, you beautify it. So that’s what we want to instill in the youth. This is a positive outlet for expression. Of course, we offer spray paint and we offer a designated area to paint so they don’t get in trouble or anything like that. And we also offer them a place to skate.”

The outdoor area at Barricade, and the surrounding streets, also serve as a music venue for events where live bands perform while selected featured artists demonstrate their art skills with spray paint, Saba said.

“It’s a good flow of art through your ears, through your eyes, through your nose,” he said. “It’s a great experience.”

Jett Loe–Sun-News Barricade Culture Shop co-owner Saba has a laugh behind the store’s counter.

On top of all of this, Barricade is also working with the City of Las Cruces Parks and Recreation Department to host community gatherings that bring more attention to the culture of skaters and artists, Howard said. In June, Barricade and Parks and Recreation organized a Skate Jam at the Las Cruces Skate Park, giving kids a safe place to skate and practice their art.

“Las Cruces has always had a skate culture, but it hasn’t got the spotlight it’s deserved, so I think that’s one thing that Barricade is helping to do,” Howard said.

Other plans in the works include offering skateboard lessons, painting lessons and break dance and hip hop lessons for kids after school, or anyone else interested in picking up a new skill, Wead said.

Outside of the office

Outside of running Barricade Culture Shop, Saba said he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, ages 10 and four months.

“That’s my life — them and this place, painting and printing,” he said. “What’s great and why I’ve chosen this lifestyle is that (my family) can come and hang out with me here, versus working for another company. They come and hang out and it’s definitely a family affair. That’s the biggest perk of owning and running your own business in my opinion.”

Howard, who also spends much of his time at the shop, painting or skating, said he likes to hang out with his dog Salvador, a blue healer/pit bull terrier, and his girlfriend.

“(My girlfriend) makes art as well, so we have a studio at home,” he said. “We usually work on other stuff. She’s a book maker so we’ve been working on making sketchbooks to sell here and painting and writing and stuff.”

For more information about Barricade Culture Shop and it’s services, call 575-312-9271 or 505-261-6103 or visit Barricade Culture Shop on Facebook.

Alexia Severson may be reached at 575-541-5462.