Penticton artist working on table-hockey exhibit for Kelowna airport

Glenn Clark hopes to turn heads with nostalgic nod to one of Canada's favourite pastimes

Penticton artist and art gallery art prepator Glenn Clark has built on his love for table hockey by scaling it to almost life size for an installation at the Kelowna airport. At left: A model of Gump Worsley that Clark intends on fabricating out of metal.

Penticton artist and art gallery art prepator Glenn Clark has built on his love for table hockey by scaling it to almost life size for an installation at the Kelowna airport. At left: A model of Gump Worsley that Clark intends on fabricating out of metal.

Glenn Clark loves the chunky sound of metal on metal and how a flick of the wrist sends a player spinning.

For the Penticton artist there were times as a youngster he dreamed about shrinking in size to join the action on his beloved table hockey game. His latest piece of work almost accomplishes that.

“I do have a fondness for the table hockey games. A very close friend of mine named Steve Ross and I, when we were teenagers growing up, the Okanagan winters were longer back then, we would sit around and throw pucks at each other on the table hockey games,” said Clark.

It is that type of nostalgia that helped him create Best Of Seven, a mixed media piece of greatly enlarged versions of the tiny two-dimensional guys controlled by metal rods in table hockey games. Clark was commissioned as part of the Kelowna Art Gallery’s initiative to extend its reach to a larger audience with a 40-foot art wall in the departures area of the Kelowna airport. Curator Liz Wylie offered the space to Clark after another piece fell through. He had to create it in just eight short months.

“I told them no problem and then I got off the phone and thought, ‘Oh god, what am I going to do,’” said Clark. “I thought about it for two months and had gone all over the place from portraits but in the back of my mind I wanted to do something fun.

“It popped into my mind when I was playing table hockey with a couple of my nephews. It was clear as could be that I should do this.”

Clark, who has four table hockey games in his personal collection, hopes the installation gets people turning their heads and taking a minute to reflect on old-fashioned fun and memories before they head off to catch their flight.

Drawing inspiration from when the games were at the height of their popularity in the 60s and 70s his Best of Seven has a retro edge with players outfitted in Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings uniforms. It is estimated that up to one million people will see Clark’s work over the six months it will be featured.

Hockey fan or not, the detail and skill behind Best of Seven is something to be admired. Players are designed to look like Gordie Howe and Jean Beliveau.

Clark said the project pushed him into new mediums with metal fabrication. Good thing his neighbour and good friend Mike Turley is a blacksmith and helped guide him along the way. Now Clark is turning the blacksmith into an artist and the artist into a blacksmith.

“So we have a lot of fun in our back alley,” said Clark.

Clark’s exhibit will run at the Kelowna airport until the beginning of May. He is not sure what will happen with it after that, but Clark already has plans to expand it.

“I probably will make some interactive metal hockey goalies and some other things. When I get that piece back I will try and get a little hockey show I can bounce around and play with,” said Clark.

The Best of Seven piece has generated a lot of feedback, some from people wanting to see the players move since they are fashioned to look like they are going to be spinning on their slots. Already he has started on the models to make that a reality. He plans to fabricate more goaltenders, and not just any, the ones he considers the greats of the game.

“They are just characters of the game, famous old characters. Johnny Bower when he played no one knew how old he was and he never told anybody. Here he is this really old guy winning Stanley Cups and he was very fascinating. Gump Worsley was one of the last guys to play without a facemask and he was this roly poly guy that nobody could get the puck by. He was one of the famous crazy guys of his era. Then you have Jacques Plante who is one of the most famous goalies of all time,” said Clark.

When he isn’t mapping out new additions or working on other aspects of his artwork, you can find Clark at the arena on Tuesday nights playing pick up with a group he has skated with for years.

“It is a sickness really.

Either death by hockey or death by not playing hockey.”

Clark also has landscape sketches from his travels around B.C. currently showing in Vernon and is planning for another show on Vancouver Island in March. The passionate hockey player is also the artist behind the 28-foot high outdoor mural of the Penticton Vees 1955 hockey team located at the Elks Hall in Penticton.

 

Just Posted

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden coming to Penticton in 2022

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

The South Okanagan Tim Hortons raised over $4,000 through the three day orange doughnut promotion with 100 per cent of proceeds going to to the Residential School Survivors Society. The owner of these locations matched the amount. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
South Okanagan Tim Hortons raises over $8K for residential school survivors

More than $4,000 worth of doughnuts were purchased over three days

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read