Thieves may have taken Ice Station Valencia’s ATM machine last month but not the its sense of fun as rink owners repair the large scale smash-and-grab damage with a spirited kid-friendly makeover.
Using a truck to smash through the main entrance of the popular skating rinks venue on Smyth Drive on Sept. 25, thieves stole an ATM from its main lobby, leaving a troubling sight for young skaters, said Ice Station spokeswoman Page Bakunas.
“Our regular demographics are, of course, young children. And, because this was done on such a public scale we kind of wanted to do something to make it more comfortable for children coming back to skate,” Bakunas said.
“We wanted to make kids laugh a little bit,” she said.
“We wanted a lighter approach to the seriousness of the situation.”
To that end, with the help of artist Kyle Tidgwell, rink officials unveiled a “kool” new piece of art – where the gaping truck-smashed damaged used to be – for skaters and families to see when they arrive at the rink.
They wanted to show their figure skating and hockey playing patrons – many of them between five and 18 years old – that “although the physical damage cannot be undone, there is always a way to turn look at a bad situation in a positive light.”
After temporarily boarding up the front entrance until repairs can be made, owner Roger Perez thought about how he could send the positive message back to Ice Station’s youth demographic, Bakunas said.
The idea came to him while speaking with Cameron Stell, a long-time employee of the Pro-shop’s Zero Celsius who enlisted Tidgwell’s help in bringing the idea to life.
The “ masterpiece,” according to rink officials, is more than just a picture painted onto a blank wooden wall, but rather an opportunity to send a message and show that through any situation, there is always something to smile about.
Ice Station Valencia owner Roger Perez phrased it this way: “Although a break in can be a scary event to a child, I wanted them to feel comfortable returning to the rink and maybe even get a little laugh out of the painting.”
Officials of the Ice Station, directly across from Valencia High School, invite Santa Clarita residents to stop by for a public skating session and to see “kool” artwork.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt