Call for Artful Ice Shanties

Registration deadline: December 15

Calling all artists, ice fishing enthusiasts, tiny house aficionados, and design-builders of all ages and experience levels! You and your friends, family, school, business, or team are invited to participate in Artful Ice Shanties (Feb. 17–25), presented by Brattleboro Museum & Art Center and Retreat Farm.

The first fifteen artists to register will receive a $200 stipend upon delivery of their shanty. Because stipends are limited, artists are encouraged to register early. Registrations will be accepted until December 15, 2023. There is no fee for entry.

Register here.

The Artful Ice Shanties will be displayed on the ice at the Retreat Meadows and near the farmhouse at Retreat Farm from Saturday, February 17, through Sunday, February 25. 

Your ice shanty can be traditional or conceptual, functional or wacky, permanent or temporary (as long as it can be moved and can withstand the wind, snow, and ice in mid-February as well as exploration by the general public throughout the week!), but it must be artful. Past Artful Ice Shanties have included:

  • Namaskônek, a shanty inspired by the Algonquin ancestors of the region
  • A glass box that used recycled lenses to simulate the experience of the northern lights
  • A shanty by third and fourth graders that displayed animals’ winter survival strategies
  • An enormous black die with moon-shaped dots
  • A shanty that doubled as a working camera obscura
  • A shanty in the shape of a giant fish

Check out the photos of the entries from 2021, 2022, and 2023, and the videos from 2021 for inspiration! Learn more about three previous entries on our blog, Art Loves Company.

Certificates will be awarded for notably artistic, inventive, fun, or silly shanties at the outdoor Awards Ceremony on Saturday, February 24, at 3 p.m.

Ice shanties must be delivered on Wednesday, February 14, and picked up after 4 p.m. on Monday, February 26. Builders are responsible for delivery and pickup, but if you need assistance, please let us know. Your creation should be around the size of a typical ice shanty, with a footprint likely between 4’x4’ and 8’x8’. Ice shanties must be built on skids to facilitate loading and moving.

If you’re interested in participating, please register as soon as possible, as space is limited. After you register, we’ll be in touch to get more details as your project unfolds, including a title and description for your wintry work of art.

This project was inspired in part by Art Shanty Projects in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Questions? Contact Danny Lichtenfeld at danny@brattleboromuseum.org 

Artful Ice Shanties is generously sponsored by