Lacquered Lids: Skull Canvas Helmet Art Show visits AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days

AMA News Author (no byline)

LEXINGTON, Ohio — A couple dozen motorcycle helmets sporting eye-catching artwork sat in the midst of the Old Bike Barn Crossroads this past weekend at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Riders of Kawasaki.

Larry Gardinier, owner of the Skull Canvas Helmet Art Show

The helmets — some with DOT stickers, some without — are intended as works of art, whether the buyer chooses to wear them or simply display them on a shelf. The designs range from simple to intricate in a variety of patterns and materials.

"It's a simple concept," said Atlanta artist Larry Gardinier owner of the traveling show. "The artists paint the helmets, set the price and send them to me. I display them for two shows. If they sell, I send the artist the money. If they don't sell after two shows, I ship the helmet back."

Gardinier said most helmets he sells can be worn. But some of them are very old.

"I bought a load of NOS (new old stock) 1970s helmets a couple of years ago from a warehouse that was closing," he said.

This was Gardinier's first appearance at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

"The people are great," he said. "But it is really hard to sell helmets in a state where riders aren't required to wear them."