I don't go to sports events too often, but last Friday night we had a staff night out at the Wells Fargo Arena to see the Iowa Chops play against the Peoria Rivermen. We needed such a blowout night after the hard work of opening two new exhibitions. geesepalace
(after much convincing) and our friend Tracy came with me. I had never been to the arena, except on a tour before it was built a few years ago, and I had never attended a live professional ice hockey game. I do remember watching ice hockey on television at a friend's house when I was a child and recall the violent fights, and thinking it was the most murderous sport there is. And when I went ice skating on the pond in Van Cortlandt Park in NY, or at Greenwood Pond in Des Moines, we were always trying to dodge the irritating boys playing hockey. As I saw on Friday night, contemporary arena ice hockey is fast, glitzy, and still very violent. The skating was great, the action fast, and there were at least three punchouts. Why do the referees just stand there watching these guys try to kill each other? But the graphics on the screens and the continuous light board that runs around the whole arena were incredible. A huge multi-screen object hanging from the roof blew jets of fire, like in the Wizard of Oz. There were anorexic cheerleaders called the Baby Backs. Our small group of about 20 co-workers, family, and friends was part of a crowd of over 8,000 that night. We waved our rally towels and rang our cowbells, drank beer, yelled and screamed. And I drew. First I tried to understand and capture the space from our view near one of the goals. Then I tried to capture the movement of the players, including their fights, as well track the motion of the puck. Here are my four drawings.