Start planning an artful ice shanty

Visitors exploring the first Artful Ice Shanties exhibit last February. Michelle Frehsee

BRATTLEBORO - Last winter, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center’s inaugural Artful Ice Shanties outdoor exhibit drew over 1,000 visitors to Retreat Farm to view ice shanties shaped like a giant, iridescent fish, a black die with moon-shaped dots, a seascape with a three-dimensional octopus, and more. Conceived as a place-based celebration of artistic talent, creative ingenuity, and the rich history of ice fishing at the Retreat Meadows, the exhibit also proved to be a welcome opportunity for safe, outdoor winter fun.
Given the success of last year’s inaugural run, BMAC and Retreat Farm are doing it again this winter. They are now accepting entries for Artful Ice Shanties 2022, which will take place from Saturday, February 19, to Sunday, February 27. Artists, ice fishers, design-builders, tiny house aficionados, and creative groups and individuals of all ages and experience levels are invited to enter.
Eligible entries can be traditional or conceptual, functional or wacky, as long as they are artful. For example, an artful ice shanty might be shaped like a loon, a rocket ship, a school bus, or a cathedral; it might double as a pinhole camera, sauna or dance floor; or it might be designed to have a second life after the exhibit as a ticket booth, warming hut, demonstration tiny house, soup shack, chicken coop or, of course, a functional ice fishing shanty. The only other requirement is that it must be sturdy enough to withstand wind, rain, snow, and ice at Retreat Farm in February.
As weather and COVID-19 conditions permit, this second iteration of the exhibit will include more outdoor events, activities, demonstrations, and performances. A panel of local judges will bestow a variety of light-hearted awards at an outdoor awards ceremony on Sunday, February 20, at 3 pm, following the 100th anniversary edition of Brattleboro’s famed Harris Hill Ski Jump.
Entries will be accepted through Wednesday, December 15,  or until space is full. Interested parties are encouraged to register soon. Registration forms and details are available at

The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

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