Alaska: BP World Ice Art Championships

Alaska in the winter and spring months is a frozen land of snow and ice and what can be done to a block of ice with a large chainsaw, chisels, imagination, and hard work is absolutely astonishing.  While in Alaska, I had the opportunity to visit the BP World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks.  With temperatures in the single digits and teens, it was ideal weather for the ice.  As I write this, the park had to shut down the exhibit early on March 28 due to temps in the 50's, melting the sculptures.  

What I'd like to show you in today's blog is the beauty in the variety of the sculptures rather than so much technical's like you get to travel along with me on vacation and see the sights :)  And like most of my blogs, this one is PACKED with pictures!!!

Let's go!

A field of the shapes of turtles, pirate ships, alien spaceships, chickens and horses!

The pirate ship had a slide, as did some of the other sculptures, and and Fiona went down it!  We had quite the cheering section, I think!  

That's my amazing sister-in-law in the cool shades.

The ice sculpting was still under way on the day of our visit and we got to meet some of the artists and watch them work.  I have looked all over the Ice Art Championship website to find out who this artist is and to see her work completed, but without any luck.  I was just pretty impressed that she could wield such a large chainsaw and hack away at that big chunk of ice and know that it was going to turn into something cool (no pun intended!)  I loved the way the ice was flying and her little scrunchy face as she cut!

Artist and her tools of the trade...

We headed over to another area that was closed off to spectators getting too close and personal with the artists, but that was a good thing as they were using large pieces of machinery to move the sculptures, like the Incredible Hulk!  As you can see, they used a sort of paper template on the ice chunk for sculpting.  

You might also notice the logo on the jacket...reading through the bio's on the artists I noticed that many of them were in the culinary industry.  Interesting because we met someone at the Chef's Academy in Indianapolis who was an incredible sculptor...with lard!  It is an art that goes back hundreds of years.  I'm glad this display was made of sculptures in ice!  

I also really liked the earmuffs of one of the workers!

Artists at work...with larger tools!

Moonlight by Qun Li Mu of China

You can see his finished sculpture here:


Details in the woods...

Loving this horse sculpture...and with my ice hoodie on!

Now, if you were impressed with the sculptures during the daylight hours, the evening lighting was absolutely breathtaking.  Each artist set up lights to illuminate their sculpture and for most of them, it truly enhanced them.  On a few, I liked the natural lighting better, especially on that huge fish...the natural light of the sun coming through the trees was much more intense on his face than the lighting provided at night...but that's just MHO...

The fish, chameleon and some amazing details

Some of my favorites

The work continued after the sun went down...

There was also some dog mushing you could pay to do but I just took some pics of the dogs...excited to be staying for the start of the Iditarod!!!  One of the sled dogs was pretty excited to get going and I was thrilled to capture him in mid-air!  Dogs make me :)

Not a lot of technical info today, but it was an experience to see all the talent of the ice sculptors.  I hope you enjoyed the virtual trip with me...let me know in the comments below!  (yes, you have to identify yourself somehow so I know you are a real's a crazy world out there in cyber space!)

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  • ausetimages

    on April 18, 2015

    Yes, they were, Zach, and yes he would!

  • Zachariah Rohn

    on April 18, 2015

    Those are some impressive works, Kurt would love these!

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