2.20.24 Pride Photoshoot Cover

RALEIGH, NC. - Chelsea Amato grew up playing roller hockey in the cul-de-sac, an experience many who love hockey can relate to.

Originally from Queens, New York, sports have continued to be a part of their life on the way to where they reside now in Durham.

An artist, graphic designer, and energy worker, their work focuses on plants, healing, sustainability, resistance, and liberation, things they incorporated in this year's Pride Night jersey for the Carolina Hurricanes.

"The opportunity to meld queerness and sports sounded right up my alley. What makes this design specific to me is that this pride design was inspired by plants, their inherent queerness, their resilience and strength, and their ability to heal," Amato shared. "I focused on plants that are representative of myself and the queer community."

2.20.24 Pride Front Crest

In Chelsea's Words...

  • Violets and Roses are referenced in Sappho's work, and the color lavender continues to represent the queer/lesbian community to this day (Rose is also my middle name).
  • Queen Anne's Lace is one of my favorite plants/weeds. Like queer folks, weeds are resilient against all odds.
  • The Poppy is used in both my main floral design and the Pride patch. The poppy was my first tattoo and also serves as my personal logo.
  • Lilies also represent queerness around the world.
  • Carnations were once used as an insiders language to share that one was queer.
2.20.24 Pride Close Up

As an artist, Amato prides themself as someone who creates work that seems floral and tame, but upon a closer look, are subversive calls to action.

"I started sketching plants daily as a way to connect to nature and myself in some little way," they continued. "This small act developed into a larger practice which culminated in my wife and I moving to Durham."

Having also previously designed work for the LGBTQ Center of Durham's Southern Queer Survivor Network, a domestic violence response program serving queer and trans folks in all 100 counties of North Carolina, Amato uses their creative talent by day for Fullsteam Brewery.

“Pride Night provides the Canes organization with an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community - a group that deserves our attention and support when it comes to creating a safe and welcoming environment," Canes Vice President of Marketing & Brand Strategy Dan LaTorraca shared. “It was important that we partnered with a local artist that could authentically tell their story as a member of the community and help us continue to work towards fostering a culture where everyone feels valued, accepted, and proud to be who they are.”

2.20.24 Pride Shoulder Outdoors

The Canes celebrate Pride Night presented by UNC Health on Thursday, February 22 when they take on the Florida Panthers.

Like the team's Black Excellence Campaign that was released earlier this month, a Pride merchandise collection will be on sale on CarolinaProShop.com beginning Thursday at Noon.

A portion of the proceeds from items sold will go to The LGBTQ Center of Durham.

To learn more about the NHL's Hockey Is For Everyone campaign, click here.

2.20.24 HIFE Patch