Art Shanty Projects

A temporary community of artist-made ice huts brings the audience into the arts experience

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Minnesota may be known for ice fishing, but the huts many a grandfather once huddled in have nothing on those created for the Art Shanty Projects, an artist-driven community temporarily located on White Bear Lake, MN. Centered on the idea of repurposing unregulated public spaces, the project aims to create artistic environments in the hopes of exploring the notion of what art is and can be. In the case of White Bear Lake, a range of themed ice shacks has been assembled, offering observers the chance to participate in the art by interacting with the makers and exploring each shack’s unique theme.


This year, as in years past, the shanties are varied in interest and execution. With 21 in total, each manages to be at once eccentric, bizarre and intelligently accomplished—some creating a Burning Man-on-snow atmosphere. In addition to the traveling Pedal Bear, other shanties extend to a live music room and miniature library to a warming hut and pottery studio, which can be seen in the slideshow.

Visit Art Shanty Projects online to read more about each shanty in the 2014 line up. Or if you’re in the White Bear Lake area be sure to pay a visit; the structures will be open through 23 February.

Images by Leslie Parker