Sunday, March 29, 2009

World Ice Art Championship

Going to the World Ice Art Championship in Fairbanks is one amazing experience. You can sit on a snowmobile, carved of ice, like Rebecca and I did here:

Or, make a phone call from an ice phone booth, where Ray is checking for a dial tone. Yup. It was there!

Or, you can check out the ice carving of Governor Sarah Palin, along side of Alaska’s first governor from when it became a state 50 years ago:

Or even go down a serious ice slide:

The main attraction, though, is walking through 4 acres of amazing ice sculptures, carved during the World Ice Art Championship competition.

The best time to go is the night before the judging, when the artists are still there, putting the finishing touches on their work. We were too late for that, attending on the last scheduled day of the event. (Although they did extend the event for an additional week after that, because it had been so cold in Fairbanks this year.)

The competition has several categories, one of which is the Single Block competition, where teams of two people have three days to turn a 7,800 pound block of ice into a work of art. The sculptures end up being somewhere between the size of a refrigerator and a pickup truck.

Here are some of my favorites from the Single Block competiton:

This is the back side of the eagle shown above, which had rabbits coming out of it:

This is a caterpillar climbing a twig:

A bird, catching a fish right out of water:

A boy, feeding a crocodile:
A woman with a torch. I liked the sense of movement in this one:
A stars-and-stripes eagle:

I was amazed that this carving of a lady on a tree swing, reaching out for a bird, was still standing, while so much of the tree branch over her, which held the bird she reached out to, was unsupported:

I believe this one, The Three Graces, won the single block competition for the abstract category:

Another category of the competion is Multi-Block. This is where teams have six days to turn ten 4,400-pound ice blocks into sculptures. Some of them created single, huge, two-story-high sculptures, such as this one of King Kong:

Here's a closeup of the airplane in his hand:

Another enormous sculpture, which took first place, I believe, was this amazing turtle. I had to step way far back to get the entire thing into the phot, since it was a full two stories high. I wish I knew more about photography, so I could have captured it in its stunning glory! If you look closely, you can see Ray and Rebecca standing just below the turtle's flipper on the right.

Here's a close up on the baby turtle, which was at the left of the previous image, following behind the mother turtle. This little part of the carving was about the same height as me.

Others used their multiple blocks to create entire scenes. I struggled to get back far enough to capture the entire scene. This one, for instance, had three wolves chasing a caribou. Since I couldn’t get them into a single shot, here are three separate shots.

Here you see the Caribou, leaping into water, with its antlers visible:

Followed by three wolves:

I was amazed that the last wolf, who was very much unsupported, was still standing:

This Guardian Angel was part of a much larger scene, which had a stairway, each step with one of the Ten Commandments engraven upon it, leading up to a large crucifix.

I loved the creativity and effect of the lights in this scene of drops of water:

I was stunned to see this scene, with massive horses, such as you would expect to see in bronze on a large government monument somewhere. This has a woman in the middle of the horses, and two huge totem poles behind, representing the Spirit of Alaska.

Here’s a closeup on one of the horses:

Here’s another carving that included a horse:

And one with several caribou, slipping and sliding down a slope:

This strand of DNA was about two stories tall:


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love all the sculp`s. the wolves are the best.i love the way the light looks. they look like the wolf spirits are coming alive. and there rushing off to guard the innosent and to protected the week. and the forest. heck yeah that looks awsome. =)