Charlotte artists collaborate to tell the story of 'Black Excellence' through new Carolina Hurricanes jerseys

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Last year, the Canes reached out to Charlotte artist Mike Jones to design jerseys for their Black Excellence campaign.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If it takes a team to score a goal, it certainly takes one, even off the ice, to accomplish a different goal.

“We were able to sit down and dive into what we wanted to bring from the jersey design to something that would resonate with the audience,” Charlotte artist Kiyana Christopher said.

Christopher is referring to friend and fellow Charlotte artist, Mike Jones’ newly designed jersey for the Carolina Hurricanes.

“It’s like how do I want to make something where it symbolizes where you come from, something that’s beautiful, and tying in love and passion,” Jones told WCNC Charlotte.

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Last year, the Canes reached out to Jones to design jerseys for its Black Excellence campaign.

The opportunity came months after designing jerseys for a similar campaign for Charlotte FC.

“(I) ended up taking two parts of the hurricane and the actual logo and putting it into here. [I] sent it off and they said it was amazing,” Jones described.

He said it was Tupac’s song, “Do for Love,” that got the creative juices going. And the late rapper’s poem “The Rose that Grew from Concrete” served as the inspiration for the logo.

However, Jones had another goal in mind. 

He said it took a team to help tell the story of black excellence.

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Malik Gist, a photographer and editor, was on the team that helped turn the jersey into a visual concept.  Jones served as creative director.

“I always try to kind of emphasize and shed light on black culture and things we go through, but in a more positive and vibrant light,” Gist said. “That’s what the jersey was trying to represent.”

“I never thought hockey and black culture,” Christopher, who served as director of photography on the project, said. “It’s a big difference. To be able to play a part and put our hands in something like that I thought was super, super dope.”