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BMAC and Retreat Farm invite entries for Artful Ice Shanties

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Artists, ice fishing enthusiasts, tiny house aficionados, design-builders, creative groups, and individuals of all ages and experience levels are invited to enter. 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. There is no fee for entry. Registration forms and details are available at

Artful Ice Shanties

The Artful Ice Shanties outdoor exhibit is a place-based celebration of artistic talent, creative ingenuity, and the rich history of ice fishing at the Retreat Meadows. Last year, over 1,700 people attended the exhibit. This year, the shanties will be displayed on the Retreat Meadows ice across the road from Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, Vermont, from Saturday, February 18, through Sunday, February 26. Prizes will be awarded for notably artistic, inventive, fun, or silly shanties at an outdoor Awards Ceremony on Saturday, February 25, at 2 p.m.

Eligible entries can be traditional or conceptual ice shanties, functional or wacky, permanent or temporary (as long as they 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 they must be artful. Past Artful Ice Shanties have included 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 moons as dots; a seascape with a three-dimensional octopus; a shanty shaped like Baba Yaga’s house; and Namaskônek, a shanty inspired by the Algonquin ancestors of the region.

“The Artful Ice Shanties is fast becoming one of southern Vermont’s signature winter events,” said BMAC Director Danny Lichtenfeld. “It’s a perfect mix of art and outdoor recreation, two of Vermonters’ passions, and it’s inspired by the iconic New England pastime of ice fishing.”

Artful Ice Shanties 2023 is generously sponsored by Foard Panel, The Marina, and Brattleboro Subaru.

About Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

Founded in 1972, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents rotating exhibits of contemporary art, complemented by lectures, artist talks, film screenings, and other public programs. BMAC is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10-4. Admission is on a “pay-as-you-wish” basis. Located in historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142, the museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit

BMAC is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Four Columns Inn, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, and Whetstone Beer Co.

About the Retreat Farm

Retreat Farm is a natural and cultural public common where people connect to the land and one another. Located on Abenaki homelands, the 19th-century farm was established to provide food and therapy in nature for patients at the nearby Brattleboro Retreat. Today, their gardens and farmlands are growing food for the community. Their pastures, waters, paths, and historic farmstead are open to everyone to enjoy for free. Learn more at

Artful Ice Shanties Photos by Kelly Fletcher


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