WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) – You wouldn’t think a frozen lake would offer much inspiration for local artists, but you’ll find some impressive work and creativity on White Bear Lake.
Now in its eight year, the Art Shanty Projects is underway. After years on Medicine Lake, its new location isn’t stopping hundreds from visiting the outdoor gallery.
The typical ice house does little to catch the eye. But near Ramsey Beach, one cluster makes people take notice.
Walt Hobbs drove all the way from Green Bay to experience this twist on winter tradition.
“It was just new and different and exciting,” Hobbs said.
Twenty colorful shacks make up the artful display known as the Art Shanty Projects. Chris Benny of New Studio Architecture is one of the architects with a great idea for this cold weather gallery.
“It’s kind of inspired by a snow drift and sort of the melt you get on the front,” Benny said.
Director Melinda Childs says art allows each participant to find character that goes beyond plywood and nails. You’ll find igloos, brick homes and even Noah’s Ark.
“There’s not a precedent for it, so the sky’s the limit, and they can really dream and imagine,” Childs said.
The colorful ice houses offer more than interesting architecture, as the artists must also include an interactive experience.
Visitors expecting to find a fishing hole instead can hone their curling skills, or exercise their mind with a puzzle. And one shanty even gives visitors a dance club atmosphere.
“It’s a different concept and that’s one thing we asked is that they actually fish out there. So it’s a completely new and different concept to us,” Hobbs said.
Winter is offering artists a frozen canvas. But in these houses, the fishing gear should be left behind.
The Art Shanty Projects is open every weekend from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is free. There’s also a Valentine’s Day fundraiser planned for next Friday.