BRATTLEBORO, VT — Artists, ice fishing enthusiasts, and builders of all ages and experience levels are invited to enter the 2024 Artful Ice Shanties outdoor exhibition presented by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) and Retreat Farm.
Calling All Artists
The exhibition will be held Feb. 17-25, with a closing ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. The exhibition and closing ceremony will take place on the Retreat Meadows ice across the road from Retreat Farm, or, in case of unsafe ice, on the grounds of Retreat Farm itself, at 45 Farmhouse Square.
The deadline to register a shanty is Dec. 15. The first 15 artists or groups to register will receive a $200 stipend upon delivery of their shanty. There is no fee for entry. Registration forms and details are available at brattleboromuseum.org.
About Artful Ice Shanties
Launched in 2021 when the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a shift to outdoor activities, Artful Ice Shanties celebrates artistic talent, creative ingenuity, winter spirit, and the rich history of ice fishing in New England. Last year, more than 2,000 people visited the 15 shanties on display.
Artful Ice Shanties can be traditional or conceptual, 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. Past entries have included a translucent box that used recycled lenses to simulate the experience of the northern lights; a shanty in the shape of a giant fish, made from bent willow branches; an enormous black die with moons as dots; a seascape featuring a three-dimensional octopus; and Namaskônek, a shanty inspired by the Algonquin ancestors of the region.
“Artful Ice Shanties has become one of Brattleboro’s signature winter events,” said BMAC Director Danny Lichtenfeld. “It’s a wonderful mix of art and outdoor recreation, two Vermont passions, and it’s inspired by the long tradition of ice fishing in our area.”
Artful Ice Shanties is generously sponsored by Foard Panel, The Marina, Berkley & Veller, and Brattleboro Subaru. It was inspired by Art Shanty Projects in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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 free, courtesy of M&T Bank. 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 brattleboromuseum.org.
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, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, and Whetstone Beer Co.
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 retreatfarm.org.