Ice Shantytown - Design Bureau

The Robot Reprise, one of this year's biggest shanties. All images courtesy of The Art Shanty Project

Dancers outside the Audio Adventure shanty

In front of the Monsters Under the Bed shanty


Ice Shantytown

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Winter has caught up with the rest of the country, but in Minnesota, it’s been winter all...winter. So, what do you do for fun in a land of perpetual snow and ice? Build the wackiest ice-fishing shanty you can, go out on a frozen lake, and make art. Obviously.

The Art Shanty Project, started in 2004 by photographer Peter Haakon Thompson and his friends, has turned into an art festival staple for the Minneapolis area. “I don’t think adults ever lose that curiosity with the idea of forts," Thompson says. “This really is a project about seeing and participating in art in a space that isn’t a gallery.”

There really are no limits to what the design teams create. This year, an enormous robot, a giant twin bed with lurking under-bed monsters, and a Nordic-inspired bridge are all scattered on Medicine Lake. From inside, one shanty hands out faux fur pink headphones for a silent dance party, another is creating a daily newspaper, and another offers a head mounted camera obscura to visitors.

To see the mash up of designs together is quite a sight, and while this year’s event just wrapped up, we’re marking our calendars for next February.

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