Buffalo native Karl Jaeger has parlayed his artistic expertise and interest in sports into a nationally known company that provides murals for sports arenas.
Jaeger owns ASI Fine Art & Custom Wall Creations, (www.ArtByASI.com) which recently finished installing wall-size murals and graphics included in a $14.7 million renovation at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center at St. Cloud State University (SCSU).
The general public had its first up-close look at Jaeger’s work Sept. 25 when the SCSU women’s hockey team hosted the Japanese National Team in an exhibition game.
The Huskies’ game against Japan’s Olympic squad was the first game played in the arena since the initial phase of the renovation was completed.
Jaeger said be became involved in the project when men’s Head Coach Bob Motzko contacted him when the hockey arena renovation was first being discussed. “He knew that I had completed projects in college hockey arenas up in Bemidji and Duluth. He was hoping I would be able to do something similar for the Huskies. It’s been a long process, and it’s great to see the results finally coming out.”
ASI Fine Art & Custom Wall Creations produces wall murals on adhesive vinyl that are applied to wall surfaces with special heat guns.
“The actual application is actually the easiest part of the entire process,” Jaeger said in a phone interview from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he was doing graphics work for that institution’s renovated arena.
“The most difficult part is the design aspect and making sure a particular mural will fit exactly right on the wall surface after we design it on a computer,” Jaeger said. “We make sure that the correct photos are used, and get feedback from everyone who has a say in the project.”
That feedback included comments from Motzko and women’s hockey coach Jeff Giesen. “I tried to get as much feedback as possible from them,” he said.
Jaeger said his company has a lot more work to do at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Tributes to the men’s team and women’s teams still need to be placed in the arena’s main concourse.
“Basically, it’s going to be a hockey program history mural that will include as many names of as many people as possible who have been important in the SCSU program throughout its history. We also have lot of work in the locker rooms. There’s a lot more to come.”
Jaeger grew up in Buffalo and attended Buffalo High School. He founded ASI FIne Art & Custom Wall Creations in 1997. “I started out as an artist doing color pencil drawings of different sports teams, and that activity kind of morphed into doing graphics for various teams, arenas and locker rooms,” Jaeger explained.
In 1995 he created a work of professional golfer and fellow Minnesotan Tom Lehman that happened to be just prior to Lehman winning the British Open. The print was widely acclaimed by the golfing community. ASI specializes in custom wall murals, custom sports prints, team and individualized plaques as well as corporate logo plaques and canvas creations. ASI was commissioned to create graphics and artwork for the U.S. Ryder Cup team for the four year in a row.
“It’s definitely nice being close to home, and be able to make adjustments on the fly,” Jaeger said, referring to ASI’s work on the Brooks Center project.
Contact Tim Hennagir at [email protected]