Please rotate your device and enjoy the experience!
Nature, humanity, and technology: An interview with artist Jen Ament about her new merchandise designs for The Climate Pledge and NHL Seattle Kraken.
Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena—set to become the first ILFI Zero Carbon Certified arena in the world—sources hyper-locally: 75% of its food ingredients come from within a 300 mile radius, the hockey rink water is sourced from its own roof(!) through an innovative rain-to-rink system, and even The Climate Pledge Collection merchandise sold on-site is designed by a Seattle-based artist.
Each hockey season, one Pacific Northwest artist is selected to design a merchandise collection that’s net proceeds benefit One Roof Foundation’s Environmental Justice Pillar—helping to ensure all youth have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean and safe places to gather and play. “We’re excited to collaborate with a wide range of artists from different backgrounds,” says Quinn Ianniciello, Creative Director for The Climate Pledge. “The only requirement is that they are local to the Pacific Northwest, are motivated to express their artwork through the lens of the climate crisis, and have artwork that can translate well into unique products.”
For the Kraken’s debut 2021-2022 season, that artist was Seattle-based illustrator Erin Wallace. For the current 2022-2023 season, it’s Seattle-based artist Jen Ament, known for her thought-provoking linocut prints and murals around town. We sat down with Jen to hear about her background, the inspiration for the collection designs, and her thoughts on the arena’s world-leading innovations in sustainability.
The Climate Pledge: We’re thrilled about your new merchandise designs at Climate Pledge Arena. Please tell us a bit about your background as an artist.
Ament: I started out by wanting some artwork for my house. Because I couldn’t afford most of the art that I was drawn to, I started making limited edition linocut prints inspired by nature and pop culture. A few friends liked what I had on my walls, so I sold them a few, and it snowballed from there. I eventually got into painting and people asking me to do murals.
The Climate Pledge: Tell us what inspired your designs for this project?
Ament: I have always been inspired by past and present pop culture from every era, and from all over the world, and this project pushed me in a bit of a different direction. I tried to merge the natural beauty of the Northwest, the vast landscape of space, and the intersection of humanity, and technology. When combining those themes, I was hoping people would perceive my work, in one aspect, as hopeful and magical, while also giving us a deeper reflection of our impact on the planet and humanity in general.
The Climate Pledge: How would you describe your designs for this collection to someone seeing them for the first time?
Ament: My intention for the designs was to remind people we can change our world starting with the smallest of actions. What we have, what we have lost, and what we can lose. I really like the idea of subtle messaging. I am drawn to outlines of heads with images of thought swirling about, along with ideas and imagination.
The Climate Pledge: Was the experience of creating art for an arena shop unique for you?
Ament: Yes! I had never really done merch designs before, and opening my work up to a whole different kind of audience is pretty exciting. It always makes you want to work harder for a project when a client is passionate about the arts and community, and especially when they are thoughtful about hiring local artists. The Climate Pledge team works hard to engage and give back to the community.
The Climate Pledge: Do you have a favorite design from the collection?
Ament: I love the scarfs, the Nalgene bottle with the girl with mystic hair, and the thinking head t-shirt with all of the climate change messages. Oh and the Miir cups with the "S" Kraken logo with lightning! I think I said too many, you asked for one!
The Climate Pledge: Have you been to a game, concert, or event at Climate Pledge Arena?
Ament: Yes! I have been to lots of concerts there; it's definitely a step up in sophistication. The sound is incredible, the aesthetics are great (the living wall!), and the food choices are good too. I haven’t seen the shop yet, but I will be going to a Kraken game soon and I can’t wait!
The Climate Pledge: Climate Pledge Arena is on track to become the first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world! Is it meaningful to you to collaborate with a venue innovating for climate action?
Ament: Absolutely! I am a nature person, and have kids who I want to see grow up in a healthy environment. I would love it if they could see and emulate the awareness of others who are taking steps to make the world a better place. We are lucky here in Seattle to be surrounded with innovators, lovers of this earth, with a strong passion for change, and betterment of mankind.
Jen Ament’s collection for Climate Pledge Arena is available on site near the living wall installation, and online for the duration of the Kraken’s 2022-2023 season. Her artwork is available at jenniferament.com, on Instagram, and in Seattle you can see her murals at La Dive, Oaky’s, Current Coffee, Rudy’s Barber Shop, Knack Collective, Facebook and Starbucks.
Photography by Kara Wallace