60 years of innovation


The most iconic name in the surf industry is celebrating it's 60th year of operation and innovation with a global art tour curated by Monster Children. Starting in Sydney on March 15th, artworks by Thomas Campbell, Geoff McFetridge, Mark Penxa, Jim Phillips Jr, Tim Chapman and Liam Gerrard, along with a plethora of O'Neill memorabilia will be exhibited in a global art and innovation tour. The exhibition will travel through Asia, Africa, Europe and North America, with the final exhibition being seen in Santa Cruz at the O'Neill Cold Water Classic WT surf event in November.

Thanks y’all

Just a note to all our followers that as the 60 Years Of Innovation Tour has come to an end, this blog won’t be updated in the near future.

Keep up to date with O’Neill goodness on the various places below



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How did we do? Well Jack O’Neill (and his family…) were so stoked on the tour that they bought up ALL the commissioned artwork that toured the globe, with all the profits going to charity. Thanks Jack!

A wrap up from the final 60 Years of Innovation tour stop in Santa Cruz.

The 60 year global art and innovation tour comes to a close in Santa Cruz

The final stop of the 60 year global art and innovation tour comes to a close at the Coldwater Classic surf event in Santa Cruz. Check out the pictures from the event below.

The exhibition space in downtown Santa Cruz

Where it all began. The starting point for wetsuits and the surf industry. Jack’s original vest.

Original O’Neill surfboards and Mark Cunningham’s ‘Fin Anemone’ sculpture.

The ‘What if Jack met…’ series from the tour stop in France.

Local artist submissions.

Jack’s Evel Knievel inspired wetsuit with his homemade hot air balloon basket.

The crowd soaking up the atmosphere.

Where there’s tequila. There’s a party.

O’Neill team rider Malia Manuel stopped by to check out the show.

Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker

Another talented individual who submitted work to the final stop of the tour in Santa Cruz, is Craig ‘Skibs’ Barker.

What did you know of Jack O’Neill & his iconic look before submitting your work?
I started surfing at the age of 12 in 1980, and O’Neill, as a brand and as a man, was always part of the “rebel surfer” thing to me.  He was always the badass old dude that made the best wetsuits.  He was the guy I’d see pictures of in the surf shops and in the mags., and I’d think “that gnarly old guy kinda looks like my grandpa” (who was a member of the original Long Beach surfing club in the 1930’s/40’s). My nephew Ian Crane is part of O’Neill’s surf team right now…so my connection to O’Neill runs deep!

What mediums do you work with?
I like to use all  different kinds of mediums…I paint in oils, use collage, photo transfers, spray paint, house paint, stencils, salvaged wood, salvaged windows, sometimes even surfboard resin in my mixed media paintings.  I have also been creating spatially extended versions of these mixed media creations via three dimensional assemblage pieces, and large scale gallery installations.
What do you call your style of art?
The street/gallery artist Augustine Kofie coined a term that I think kinda fits my work too “Vintage Futurism”.  In my work I like to show an appreciation for the past, and give new life to old objects, while keeping a firm visual root in the present day, and an eye toward the future.  
Are you classically trained?
I did get a BFA degree in painting from Cal State Fullerton, but I think the majority of my training came from a lot of trying things and a LOT of failing.
Where would you like to see your piece eventually hanging?
Jack O’Neill’s house!
Where can we see more of your art?
I have show at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City , CA opening in February of 2013, or at www.skibsart.com


Legendary Hawaiian waterman Mark Cunningham sends art to Santa Cruz

One of the North Shore’s most famous lifeguards has sent his sculpture ‘Fin Anenome’ to Santa Cruz for the exhibition.

Mark Cunningham spent nearly 30 years as a lifeguard on Hawaii’s North Shore, at Ehukai Beach Park home of Pipeline, saving lives of people who were just unlucky and others who shouldn’t have been there.

"Above are photos of my sculpture "Fin Anemone".  It’s 1,000 skegs that I have found snorkeling, mostly here in Hawaii but also in Indonesia, Tahiti and Fiji.  These fins were selected from my collection for their age, crustiness and time spent in the sea, one can only imagine the millions of waves that washed over them through the years.

This is my tribute to Jack O’Neill.  As every surfer needs a wetsuit, he also needs a fin or three or four.”

Who is Martin Machado?


Another exceptional piece of art submitted for the Santa Cruz stop is this number by Martin Machado who grew up in the local area. Read on to find out more.

What did you know of Jack O’Neill & his iconic look before submitting your work?
I know if you dug through the drawings I did when I was 8 years old you’d find stacks of O’Neill surf magazine advertisement rip-offs. I grew up pretty obsessed with the Santa Cruz surf scene and tried to immerse myself in it as much as they would let a San Jose val jerk such as myself. Jack O’Neill is such a huge part of the surf scene there, he basically created it. So needless to say I knew a bit about Jack at a very young age: which house was his by Pleasure Point, which boats were his in the harbor, etc.  I’m sure it sounds like I’m a stalker, but that stuff was common knowledge in Santa Cruz, Jack is like royalty there! 

What medium’s do you work with?
I mainly use Gouache and Oil paints, but the surfaces that I paint on vary.  Sometimes it’s on traditional materials such as paper or panel, but I like to work on found material as well, like driftwood I find on the shore or nautical charts I get off of ships that I’ve worked on. 

What do you call your style of art?

Are you classically trained?
I went to art school at the San Francisco Art Institute with a lot of talented folks.

Where would you like to see your piece eventually hanging?
Jack’s house of course!

Where can we see more of your art?
Point your browser towards my website and check it out www.martinmachado.com

With the final stop of the 60 Year Art Tour just around the corner, here’s a clip of the man who started it all and the legacy he’s created. Jack O’Neill - we salute you sir.

Artist profile : Jose Cerda


Jose Cerda’s submission to the Santa Cruz stop of the 60 Years Of Innovation Art Tour

One of the key parts of the 60 Years Art & Innovation Tour is having local artists submit their work to be exhibited alongside the professional artists. Jose Cerda submitted his artwork on the unique canvas of a old surfboard blank. We did a little Q & A session to find out more about the man behind the artwork.

What did you know of Jack O’Neill & his iconic look before submitting your work?
Jack O’Neill to me has always been an innovative originator, his style is timeless, almost like a James Dean type surfer with an eyepatch, all scruffed up with a beard.

What medium’s do you work with?
With this piece I utilized a scrap piece of foam a shaper friend gave to me, I used acrylic paints. Usually I work with different mediums, newspapers/ mixed media, spray paints, screen prints, acrylics, pencils, paint pens, markers.

What do you call your style of art?
Unforced freedom of expression, it’s hard to categorize, all I know is that it sets me free.

Are you classically trained?
I first started with graphic design, creating my own graphics for my skateboards, I learned the old school color separations cutting rubylith with exacto-blades and drawing with rapidograph pens. I got into painting soon after. Self taught with some help from friends.
Where would you like to see your piece eventually hanging?
On walls in Galleries for all to enjoy. On T-shirts, skateboards, surfboards, stickers.

Where can we see more of your art?
I’m a Volcom featured artist so you can see some of my work at Volcom.com

O’Neill wants aspiring artists to get involved

O’Neill want aspiring artists to get involved in the 60 year celebration & are inviting the public to submit artistic Interpretations of founder, Jack O’Neill. The best 10 received will be exhibited along side the commissioned art works from Campbell, Gerard, McFetridge, Phillips, Penxa & Chapman.

Upload an image of final artwork, along with medium used and location to oneillart@monsterchildren.com

The final dates of the tour are below:
New York (In conjunction with the premiere of Jeremy Jones’ new film - Further, Highline Ballroom, NYC) Oct 10
California (Santa Cruz, During WT Cold Water Classic Event) Nov 1st - 11th
Here are a couple of images of Jack to tempt your creativity.