"If you’re a true fine artist, you’re supposed to tell your point of view through your eyes about the world. What’s my world? The fastest game on earth, ice hockey." - Ken Yackel Jr.

His work is unique and not run of the mill, not just a rendition or copy of a sports picture. He has an incredible talent and skill for composition and is good with his palette; I love how he shows form & movement. Each piece has rhythm, movement but it's not your typical 'in your face' sports paintings. He's obviously very sensitive and it shows in his work, it is rare with sports for the artist to have such insight in that world b/c most sports artists are just fans and not professional athletes. He sees so much more than the normal things that everyone sees, he sees much deeper into the sport and it shows in his use of bold lines, intricate patterns and how he shows movements and shadows in his paintings and the detail in his sculpture.

Ken Yackel, Jr. is a fine artist and second-generation hockey player. A South Saint Paul, Minnesota native, he majored in fine art while playing on the University of Minnesota’s 1976 NCAA Championship team. He subsequently spent time in several professional leagues. When he departed pro hockey, he enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Through his sculpture, paintings, and drawings. Yackel personalizes the game of hockey by reflecting the emotions and experiences of the player. His abstract sculptures reflect his love of the sport. By using strong, bold colors, his paintings express the energetic movement found in the game. Yackel’s notable works include the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Tribute to John Mariucci sculpture, The Bob Johnson Player of the Year Award, and the Gene Aldrich Trophy. Having 7 one-man shows, with “Frozen Moments”, at the Golden Gate Ice Arena in Redwood City, California, garnered critical acclaim. Yackel, currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is a full-time artist specializing in bronze hockey sculptures and oil paintings. He remains involved with hockey as coach and instructor.


Carrying on the tradition of one of the great names in U.S. Hockey history, Ken Yackel, Jr. enjoyed a champion’s college and professional playing career before combining his passion for his sport with his gifts as an artist.  Believing deeply in the value of the hockey experience and the sheer beauty of the game, Mr. Yackel uses the full range of his creativity to portray these beliefs in his art.  Now residing in San Francisco, the native Minnesotan is the only artist dedicating all of his energies to the art of the sport.  While he may have left the ‘hockey environment,’ it is the hockey inside of him that fuels his work.

All mediums inter-connect to express what The Artist sees.  Ideas, maybe in a sculpture, painting or drawing; evenly expressed in all three. The Hockey inside that fuels his work; dedicating all his energies to the art of his sport.



The Artist works with Bronze; however, he also creates pieces in other mediums. What are the Sculptures about? Planes that make shapes.  Motion, positions, movement, stop action; from the players point of view ~ frozen moments of action ~ from the fans point of view, a unique non-mainstream expression of art.

What is it about Bronze?  ~ It’s a movement, an action; it’s cold and it’s hard!
Some of the artist ideals also come through in his sculptures, paintings and drawings.

Note  ~ the contact points on the sculpture are the actual contact points in the game. The Artist uses these points purposely to help create his sculptures.



The artist expresses three visions of his sport on the canvas. Through ‘realism,’ he depicts hockey as a subculture. Reflecting a game that becomes an infectious part of people’s lives, Mr. Yackel’s work focuses on lessons and ideals the game instills in generation after generation.

His ‘abstract’ work brings the sport’s feelings and aesthetic beauty to the canvas. The bright, strong colors moving intricately, symmetrically at high speed relate the sensation of BEING on the ice. The artist actually uses pieces of hockey equipment, like cutting skate blades, to create some of these works.

And his ‘surrealist’ eye paints the hockey player evolved through time, yet transcending time, embodying the discipline and freedom the sport itself creates.



Charcoal works feature hockey still lifes as well as figurative sketches capturing the game itself and the emotions involved in playing it.  They are sure to strike a deep chord in anyone who has shared these experiences.