I have always appreciated international competition on any level: artistically, through sport or just a decent internet forum flame war. When I heard the 24th annual World Ice Art Championships chipped off this Tuesday I had to make my 1st annual trip.
If you’re a local and planning on attending the event, stop! Don’t find yourself like I did, lost and confused at the old location. Here is the map to the new George Horner Ice Park.
With artists from Canada, Japan, Norway, Russia and the United States, the event certainly holds the feel of international winter competition. As much as I wanted to approach the men and women working on their projects, the constant wielding of their chain saws, bone saws and other cutting equipment kept me using my telephoto lens.
What I found most intriguing are the different artistic approaches by different cultural groups. For example, I felt both the Russian and Japanese artists came with a deep historic perspective — shocker, I know. However, if you’re not a history buff there are still plenty of remarkable contemporary pieces of work. Without giving away too many spoilers you will have to see it for yourself.
The award ceremony for the single block competition takes place tonight. The single block competition consists of one to two person teams having only 60 hours to sculpt one 8’x5’x3′ block of clear ice. Next week the multi-block competition begins, where two to four member teams will have 132 hours to turn 10 blocks into a masterpiece. The park will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from February 26-March 31. For more information visit IceAlaska.com