A wolf head design in the red line at the Treadwell Arena on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan Tsimshian worked with students in the BAM After School Program to draw animals in Northwest Coast formline designs to be incorporated in the hockey rink ice. The Treadwell Arena opens for the season on Monday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A wolf head design in the red line at the Treadwell Arena on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan Tsimshian worked with students in the BAM After School Program to draw animals in Northwest Coast formline designs to be incorporated in the hockey rink ice. The Treadwell Arena opens for the season on Monday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Douglas ice rink gets new lines featuring Northwest Coast art

Tsimshian artist and students design mid-ice artwork

What’s black and white and red all over?

The new 85-foot-long design that stretches across of the center of the ice inside Treadwell Arena.

This year, the red line that divides the rink in two, incorporates formline — a type of Northwest Coast art that uses ovoids, U forms and S forms — that was mostly drawn up by Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan and Body and Mind After School Program students.

“This is so cool,” Ryan said upon seeing the design on the ice for the first time Thursday afternoon. “This is fantastic. It stands out well. This is so much fun. Wow.”

Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan talks about a project to produce the red line at the Treadwell Arena on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Ryan worked with students in the BAM After School Program to draw animals in Northwest Coast formline designs to be incorporated in the hockey rink ice. The Treadwell Arena opens for the season on Monday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan talks about a project to produce the red line at the Treadwell Arena on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Ryan worked with students in the BAM After School Program to draw animals in Northwest Coast formline designs to be incorporated in the hockey rink ice. The Treadwell Arena opens for the season on Monday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The black formline depictions of eagles, wolves, bears, sea lions, beavers, oracas, mosquitoes and people are sandwiched by two thick red stripes.

[Juneau Legion wins third-straight title]

“There’s a lot of different things represented,” Ryan said.

He credited student Hunter Cameron with the idea of sticking to drawing animals found in Southeast Alaska.

A unique red line design is an annual tradition at Treadwell Arena, said Lauren Anderson, manager for Treadwell Arena.

“We never repeat the same design,” Anderson said.

In the past, Anderson said that’s meant doing things like working the Roman numerals XV into the red line for the arena’s 15th anniversary.

Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan Tsimshian, left, talks Treadwell Arena Manager Lauren Anderson, center, and Program Coordinator Thomas McKenzie about the red line at the Treadwell Arena on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Ryan worked with students in the BAM After School Program to draw animals in Northwest Coast formline designs to be incorporated in the hockey rink ice. The Treadwell Arena opens for the season on Monday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan Tsimshian, left, talks Treadwell Arena Manager Lauren Anderson, center, and Program Coordinator Thomas McKenzie about the red line at the Treadwell Arena on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Ryan worked with students in the BAM After School Program to draw animals in Northwest Coast formline designs to be incorporated in the hockey rink ice. The Treadwell Arena opens for the season on Monday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

For this year, Anderson said Michael Brna, who leads maintenance for the arena, suggested something that incorporated Alaska Native artwork.

By pursuing the idea Anderson found herself in touch with both Ryan and Zach Gordon Youth Center manager Jorden Nigro.

While the students met twice weekly at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School, Ryan taught BAM students some formline basics, and the students in turn drew formline animal heads.

Anderson and Ryan said Cameron and student Kia Abbott were particularly critical to the project’s ultimate success.

Since the project started in April and needed to be finished by about the end of the school year in May, Ryan handled drawing formline bodies, refining the students’ head drawings and creating transitions between the various designs.

Sealaska Heritage Institute, a nonprofit that protects and promotes Alaska Native culture and art, helped support the project and made small changes to the formline drawings, too.

Ryan said the original heads drawn by local children are still clear in the finished product.

“I wanted to make sure the head designs were maintained to the way the kids drew it,” Ryan said.

[Running club holds ‘keystone’ event]

The card stock works that Ryan and the students created were then digitized and colored in by Devyn Frugé, printing service coordinator for City and Borough of Juneau.

That saved a lot of time and Sharpie marker ink, Anderson and Ryan said.

“This is the first year we had it printed,” Anderson said.

The red line at the Treadwell Arena on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan Tsimshian worked with students in the BAM After School Program to draw animals in Northwest Coast formline designs to be incorporated in the hockey rink ice. The Treadwell Arena opens for the season on Monday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

The red line at the Treadwell Arena on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Tsimshian artist Abel Ryan Tsimshian worked with students in the BAM After School Program to draw animals in Northwest Coast formline designs to be incorporated in the hockey rink ice. The Treadwell Arena opens for the season on Monday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

She said she was pleased with how it turned out and is excited for the red line to make its public debut when the arena opens for the season with a free skate on Monday.

By the time that happens, it’s hoped a second print of the red line will be hanging near the entrance of the Treadwell Arena wall.

Ryan said he’s excited for the kids to see their work.

“They’re already talking about the next one,” he said.

Know & Go

What: Treadwell Arena Season Opener

Where: Treadwell Arena, 105 Savikko Road, Douglas

When: 3:30-5 p.m., Monday, Aug. 5

Admission: Free


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


More in Sports

Courtesy photo | Alexandra Razor 
                                Former members of the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé softball team will play an alumni game on Sunday to raise money for travel and equipment for the team.
JDHS softball team to hold alumni game

It might be the first alumni game held by the JDHS softball team.

Crimson Bears hold virtual awards ceremony

Coaches acknowledge hard work and dedication.

Micah Grigg, a Thunder Mountain High School graduate, will be swimming for Lenoir Rhyne University in North Carolina in the fall, signing with the school’s team this spring. (Courtesy photo | Micah Grigg)
Two members of Juneau’s swim club are college-bound

North Carolina and Fairbanks are a little further than a 1650-yard race away.

Thomas Waerner, of Norway, celebrates in Nome his win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Waerner is still waiting to return to his home in Norway. Waerner and his 16 dogs have been stranded in Alaska by travel restrictions and flight cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Marc Lester | Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Virus strands Norway racer in Alaska after Iditarod win

Man and 16 dogs been stranded in Alaska by travel restrictions and flight cancellations.

Sosan Monsef hands off the baton to teammate Sadie Tuckwood during the 2018 Alaska Track and Field State Championships. (Courtesy Photo | For JDHS Track & Field)
JDHS track and field coaches bid farewell to seniors

The 2020 Track & Field season was looking to be one for the record books.

TMHS baseball coaches bid farewell to seniors

Unfortunately, these fine young men will never get to know what it… Continue reading

JDHS boys soccer coaches bid farewell to seniors

These seniors had a great run during their years playing soccer at JDHS.

TMHS softball coaches bid farewell to seniors

The Falcon softball team and coaching staff wishes the best to our five graduating seniors

JDHS baseball coaches bid farewell to seniors

We will never know how good we would have been. I do know that we would have worked hard all year

JDHS softball coaches bid farewell to seniors

We were looking forward to having a successful season with our four seniors leading our team.

Eva Goering signs her committement to play college soccer for North Idaho College. (Courtesy photo | Heidi Johnson)
Double trouble: Two JDHS soccer players headed to Idaho together

They’ve been playing together for a decade.