MD Caps Fan Uses Art To Share Love Of Hockey, Celebrate Pride Month

MD Caps Fan Uses Art To Share Love Of Hockey, Celebrate Pride Month

GERMANTOWN, MD — Dave Scheele first fell in love with hockey as a boy growing up in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

“I started going to hockey games when I was probably like 12 or 13 with my dad,” he said. “I’ve never really thought about it before, but it was one of those things that I just immediately was kind of taken with. I thought that it was really, really fun. No other sport had really ever captured my attention like hockey did .”

As Scheele’s love of hockey grew, so did his interest in creating art. After began art school as an adult, he posting his work to social media.

“I was lucky enough to have a pretty great audience that was interested in buying things, so I very much leaned into that,” he said. “More recently, I started making work in sorts of the sports area, typically hockey, and I’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of great opportunities come out of that.”

One of those opportunities was working with the Washington Capitals in March to create artwork commemorating Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom’s 1,000th game.

As a kid growing up in the DC suburbs, Scheele was naturally a Caps fan.

“That was a really cool project I got to work on,” he said. “They’re just such a cool team. They’ll always be my home team.”

Another recent opportunity that means a lot to Scheele also has a hockey connection.

To celebrate Pride Month and to support the LGBTQIA community, the Premier Hockey Federation is selling Pride-inspired PHF jerseys designed by Scheele and two other artists, Corwin Dickson and Kelsey Smith.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for the PHF to expand its commitment to inclusivity and help make a difference in our community by supporting talented artists and organizations who enact positive change,” said Reagan Carey, PHF commissioner, in a release. re proud to celebrate Pride with our athletes, staff, and fans and continue working at building safe and welcoming environments for everyone.”

MD Caps Fan Uses Art To Share Love Of Hockey, Celebrate Pride Month
Dave Scheele’s design includes six starbursts that represent the Premiere Hockey Federation cities. The curving road that connects the cities is colored with the classic rainbow gay flag, as well as flags representing lesbian, bisexual, nonbinary and trans people. (Dave Scheele)

During Pride Month, PHF will unveil a new, artist-designed “Pride Profiles” jersey each week for three weeks starting on June 13. The jersey featuring Scheele’s design went on sale Monday.

“I ended up with this idea that I kind of think of as a road, and I focused it around six starbursts that represented the six cities that are PHF teams and where they fit on a map in comparison to one another,” he said.

The curving road that connects the six cities is colored with the classic rainbow flag, as well as flags representing lesbian, bisexual, nonbinary and trans people.

“I made them all sort of blending together, and through that I wanted to represent how important it is to see the community as a collective,” he said. “As a community, we are stronger when we uphold one another.”

All proceeds from the sales of the jerseys go to a charity of each artist’s choice. Sales from jerseys featuring Scheele’s design will go to Casa Ruby, a multicultural organization that helps transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals in the DC area by providing housing, food and social services.

“Casa Ruby specifically focuses on helping LGBTQ people in Washington, DC, with very direct support in terms of money for health care and access to health care, transportation, housing, support, legal support, food — things like that,” Scheele said. “It’s really directly helping that community and, more specifically, they are focused on the trans community, gender non conforming people, primarily trans feminine people and people of color.”

Scheele chose Casa Ruby as his charity because he thought it was important to support a local organization and one that was focused on helping trans women of color in particular.

“That’s one of the groups that is the most underrepresented and one of the most heavily targeted by a lot of the vitriol that is directed at the LGBTQ community, and, specifically is legislated against the most,” he said. “I really wanted to find a charity that supports that community the most direct way that I could.”

As a gay man, a hockey fan and an artist, Scheele is happy to participate in PHF’s “Pride Profiles” effort, which celebrates Pride Month and helps a charity supporting the LGBTQIA community.

“I like the merchandise initiative, because I think that having that be something that can be consistently visible beyond Pride Month, it’s more than just changing your icon on social media,” he said. “It’s something that people can wear to game wear out in public all year round, that solidifies that support for the community.”

“Pride Profiles” jerseys are available for purchase on the PFL online store.

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