Release the … HIFE Jerseys

Get to know the local artists creating five new ‘Hockey is for Everyone’ warmup jerseys and related gear this season, plus a newcomer to honor Lunar New Year — by Bob Condor

The Kraken and the team’s fans enjoyed last season’s “Hockey is For Everyone” jerseys so much, this year’s collection includes a sixth original warmup jersey worn by players on dedicated game nights. Fans loved the various “S” marks last year and will doubt be enthusiastic about what local artists imagine and create for the 2022-23 hockey calendar. Anchor auctions are the only way to get one of the specially designed jerseys. “HIFE” merchandise will also be available for sale at Kraken Team Stores and also benefit the One Roof Foundation.

Any of us who scored an auctioned “HIFE” jersey or selected merchandise with the artist’s interpretation of the Kraken “S” knows how the artisan work resonated. Why, because we all received compliments about our HIFE gear and/or asked, “where I can I get one of those?” Here’s a preview of this season’s HIFE jersey artists and their exciting concepts:

Paige Pettibon, Indigenous People’s Night, Dec. 1

This year’s collection, which includes the Lunar New Year celebratory warmup jersey for the first time, starts its rollout Dec. 1 for Indigenous People’s Night in a home game against the Washington. Paige Pettibon, a Tacoma artist who identifies as Salish and a steward of the Lushootseed language, is in final phases of creating this year’s jersey.

Pettibon says all of her paintings, fiber art, jewelry, digital designs and more are inspired by “the beauty of the Pacific Northwest as a constant reminder to not take our environment for granted.” Her work has been exhibited at the Tacoma Art Museum and Smithsonian among others. She is part of the yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creative Collective.

The jersey’s base is a vivid, intense orange in a purposeful nod to Canada’s Orange Shirt Day, designating Sept. 30 as “a day to honor and uphold Survivors and intergenerational Survivors of the Indian residential school system, and to commemorate those who didn’t return home.”

There’s more to discover about the jersey Dec. 1 when the players take the ice for warmups. With the orange base “evoking emotion and impact,” Pettibon is integrating letters and numbers influenced by the traditional four-direction medicine wheel design. The medicine wheel represents the power of holistic medicine coming from each direction in Indigenous culture and four as a sacred number.

Monyee Chau, Lunar New Year Night, Jan. 21

The Kraken’s first-time HIFE jersey required a powerhouse artist and Monyee Chau is that person who identifies as Taiwanese and Chinese American. Chau grew up in the city’s International District, where they are part of the flower, flower collective, a “neighborhood arts ‘greenhouse’ where community stories flourish and creative expression is nurtured, cultivated and restored.”

Chau’s work is driven by their passion for exploring history, mythology and food: “Art and food are two universal languages that can bring people and communities together,” they said. The plan for the Lunar New Year jersey starts with reds and yellows prominent in Chinese culture that represent wealth and prosperity. Fans can also expect a “symbolic ribbon” as part of the lettering and numbering. The jersey will be worn in warmups Jan. 21 in a Climate Pledge Arena matchup with Stanley Cup champion Colorado.

Ari G, Black Hockey History Night, Feb. 18

The Kraken are turning to Ari G for this season’s Black History jersey as a month-long awareness. Ari is a “multi-artist” (painter, designer and musician), who grew up in Skyway and South Seattle. He is based out of Paradice Avenue Souf, a clothing store and creative agency where he and fellow collaborators offer unique products, build community and host events.

South Seattle intertwines in Ari’s art and is an indelible place for him, especially as one of the most diverse city in all of the U.S. The diversity carries through his concept for warmup jersey to be donned by Kraken players before a Feb. 18 home against Detroit.

The diversity of the people in the neighborhood is carried through his art. The colors selected for lettering and numbering derive from global (he is inspired by art traditions in Egypt, India, East Asia and Europe). Fans and players will see and appreciate “the gold of the Sun and the blue of the waters of the Pacific Northwest.” Beveled and embossed lettering will shine and stand out among any crowd. stands out. The numbers will “pay homage to the sun and the water coming together in nature to create something new, to help us create a perfect balance.”

Erin Wallace, Women in Hockey presented by Starbucks, March 7

As a Capitol Hill resident these days who was born and raised in the Central District, Erin Wallace brings love of the “lush beauty” of the city and a self-described “art nerd” childhood for perspective on imagining the design for “Women in Hockey” night March 7 against visiting Anaheim.

These “art nerd” days cultivated an illustrator who “plays with the contrast of organic shapes and bold graphic values” and clearly loves color combinations in her work.  

For the jersey, Wallace found inspiration in Sanrio characters and stationery and stickers found in Uwajimaya stores. For numbering and lettering, she “leaned into patterns found in plants and animals” while devising an abstraction of the spots and stripes often serving as camouflage in the wilderness. Color preview: Wallace will be using two blues from the Kraken brand and “transitioning” the “Red Alert” Kraken eye into an “autumnal orange.”

Simson Chantha, Pride Night presented by Symetra, March 13

The artist for this season’s Pride Night warmup jersey, Simson Chantha, incorporated his passion for design and color. Simson loves, “flowers, coffee, and spending time with his dog.” We are all in for something special as we all anticipate the full reveal of his design the Kraken will wear their game against Dallas.

Chantha’s specific inspiration: As a Capitol Hill resident, he enjoys finding quiet in Volunteer Park “as a respite from the hustle and bustle of Capitol Hill.” Well, and dog walks are highly productive for his artistic brain and soul too.

Professional inspiration: For Simson, art is a form and vehicle to get a message across, plus communicating beauty in the world. For colors, Simson will be pulling progressive pride flag hues in “a clear and contemporary fashion” to represent people of color and people who identify as transgender, gender nonconforming and/or undefined. The lettering and numbering will result in a pattern to create the full rainbow across them.

Angelina Villalobos (aka Onesevennine), Green Night presented by Boeing, April 6

The Kraken have engaged with Angelina Villalobos since construction days at Climate Pledge Arena. She is a muralist from Seattle who got her artistic start with Panels for Progress, and currently is part of Urban Artworks at the Inscape Building located in the International District.  

Villalobos aims to “help people process all the colors that they see in the world. A Seattle native, she loves sharing with non-Seattleites the “spectacular falls, evergreen winters, neon springs and golden summers of the Pacific Northwest.”

To that end, the warmup “Green Night” jersey will feature letter and number colors to “highlight the power of nature” and “incorporate movement,” both concepts with which Kraken players can relate. Fans can anticipate the greens of evergreens to the “murky greens of the Pacific Ocean” plus bright oranges that “capture the danger and excitement sometimes found in nature.” Like all six of the “HIFE” jerseys, can’t wait to see that on the ice.

To learn more about HIFE Nights, please visit here.