Art Shanty Projects transforms a frozen lake surface into a creative community space that is part art gallery, part art residency and part social experiment. Thousands of people are drawn to our outdoor event during a time of year when weather often keeps residents isolated. The unpredictable wind-swept, snow-covered location challenges artists to generate platforms for unique experiences while contending with natural and human elements.
Past shanty artists have elicited public interactions around such varied activities and inspirations as stress-relieving practices in a geodesic dome, curling competitions, lively debate forums and soap-box proclamations, kinetsthetic pedal-powered polar bear puppet rides, a life-sized music box, a giant zoetrope, and an imaginative elevator ride. Artist-audience interactions have become integral to our mission.
In addition to the interactive multidisciplinary component of the shanties, programs of performance art happen throughout the four weekends of the festival. This work takes the form of multiple, smaller performances and interactions that are not necessarily tied to a particular shanty, sometimes take place withing a structure, and sometimes happen in and among the visitors walking on ice. Past programming has included creation of a living snow globe, 'snowga' (yoga in snowsuits), spontaneous a cappella singing on the ice and art car parades.
10,000 Lake Twister (Artists:: Jared Haberer and Evan Hall)
10,000 Lakes Twister is a contemporary reinvention of the classic game, with a Minnesota Twist. Test your knowledge of the lakes or spin the wheel and play the game. Bring your cameras because 10,000 Lakes Twister frames fun with curious Minnesota light.
AtlTlachinolli (Fire & Water) (Artists:: Electric Machete Studio artists Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra, Tania Galaviz de Espinoza, Reynaldo Lara, Xilam Balam)
EMS! Atlachinolli is a sculptural performance space led by Latinx Indigenous art & music collective Electric Machete Studios. Atlachinolli (translation WaterFire) is an indigenous concept of central Mexico, which speaks to the urgent battle against extreme weather changes and for the protection of our freshwaters, such as Bde Unma/Lake Harriet. Electric Machete Studios, in collaboration with Indigenous artists and community members, will curate several performances centered around an ice pyramid, including Lady Xok, Las Luchadoras feminist punk collective, and more. #EMSarts
The Archive (Artists:: Ari Baum-Hommes, Amelia Foster, Clara Schiller and Claire Swanback)
The Archive Shanty is a space filled with specimens and curios that spark wonder. Inspired by the displays in natural history museums, this collection can’t be easily placed in a certain time period. Its specimens represent a blend of real and imagined natural artifacts from Lake Harriet area/Bde Unma, and visitors to the Archive will collectively imagine the past, present, and possible natural landscape of South Minneapolis.
BINGO! Shanty (Artist:: Jeremy Bue)
BINGO! Shanty is bringing the bingo in as many ways possible. Hosted by various artists and performers who will each put their own spin on a giant bingo cage.
Cinema Shanty and Ice Box Studios (Artists:: Jen Arzayus, Vanessa Miles, Aleshia Mueller and Jeff Sherman)
The Cinema Shanty houses a 6 ft diameter zoetrope showing a changing series of animations powered by the participants. More animations can be created in the Soundstage 18 shanty of Ice Box Studios next door.
Fyr Minnesåta (Artists:: Teens from Leonardo's Basement)
Fyr Minnesåta is a half-submerged plaid lighthouse. This Minnesota-themed lighthouse shanty is circled by easily controlled birds and has a surprise on the second floor. Come inside to discover what the lake looks like from above.
Get in Feel with your Touchings (Artists:: Gabriel Bodkin + Alex Schluender)
An inner-terrestrial probe has ascended from the depths of Bde Unma/Lake Harriet. The aquatic diplomats have designed their probe to bait and study humans. They seek to understand how humans experience their environment through their sense of touch. This jaunty column has 36 hand portals of mystery!
The Lonely Whale Shanty (Artist:: Giuliana Pinto)
The Lonely Whale Shanty is an interactive installation that invites its guests into the belly of a special whale. Scientists have recorded whale calls from a single lonely whale in the Pacific Ocean for over two decades now. This lonely whale has learned much on its solo voyage. It has secrets and ideas and feelings that most people will never know, until, of course, the arrival of the Lonely Whale Shanty.
Monarch Butterfly Migration Shanty (Artists:: Tara Fahey, Janet Groenert, Morgan L'Argent, Mina Leierwood, Terry McDaniels, Richard Parnell, Peter Schulze and Suzanne Trapp)
The Monarch Butterfly Migration Shanty seeks to celebrate the life cycles of pollinators and bring us closer to the web of life that supports us all, through education, fun, and action.
The Notary Shanty (or, The Cold Hard Truth Shanty) (Artists:: Alyssa Baguss and Jenni Undis)
The Notary Shanty (aka Notaries on Ice: The Cold Hard Truth Shanty) invites guests to consider authority, authenticity, and the magic of carbonless forms. Visitors to our office on ice can choose from a selection of pledges, contracts and resolutions - fill out your favorite form, and get a seal of approval. If you have actual legal documents, our actual legal notaries can notarize those too.
Phone Valet (Artists:: Anne Grinager and Sami Pfeffer)
Phone Valet offers complimentary curbside service for your smartphone. Leave your phone with us for a bit and explore the shanties with one of our analog “apps” such as hand-drawn maps (to some secret spots) and real film cameras.
Revolution Shanty (Artists:: Cecily Spano, Megan Marsnik and the students that are part of the REV 180 community at Southwest High School)
The Revolution Shanty looks at the concept of revolution through art, photography, and poetry. Come write your own revolution poems and walk through the Minnesota Revolutionary Hall of Fame.
Sonic Shanty (Artists:: Rebecca Loyche and Jonathan Loyche)
The Sonic Shanty is an instrument with the ice that visitors can play and experience how their presence there affects the lake on a sonic level. The acoustic body of the shanty resonances the sounds generated by interactions and this is mixed with a live audio feed from two hydrophones under the ice.
*Squirrel Haus Arts donated their build space to help make this project possible.
Team Engine at Cooperation Station (Artists:: Ana Begej and Nat Locke)
The Team Engine at Cooperation Station will be a bustling scene of fun and excitement. Choose a game that suits your group, grab your supplies from inside the shanty, and then go play! Come back and tell us about your experience on the Wall of Reflection, and then head out and do it again!
The Theatre of the Tiny Clandestines presented by The Winding Sheet Outfit (Artists:: Amber Bjork, Kayla Dvorak Feld, Kristina Fjellman, Megan Campbell Lagas and Derek Miller)
The Theatre of the Tiny Clandestines is a mobile theater event. Three odd sisters and a strange ticketmistress perform 5-10 minute pieces, designed for very small audiences inside a tiny parlor, and range from eerie storytelling, very silly puppeteering, and truly bad fortunetelling.
The Thwing (Artists:: Derek Ahlberg, Jeff Berg and Paul Owen)
The Thwing is a duo of circus swings working in conjunction with each other to create sound and mystery. The swings face each other with funhouse mirrors in between them, giving the visitor the illusion of swinging into infinity. The power they create by swinging drives spinning drums and flying whistles. The swings whistle as they soar through the air and are attached to cables that spin beating drums.
The Tomb of the Unknown Minnow (Artists:: Nicholas Maurstad, Angela Maki North and Mike Taus)
The Tomb of the Unknown Minnow is a mausoleum honoring the sacrifices made by minnows throughout the year as bait for Minnesotans fishing for food and sport. By bestowing rituals reserved for our most honored dead onto a part of nature commonly viewed as insignificant, we hope to engage participants in a deeper understanding of what the natural world sacrifices for our survival and comfort.
Twin Cities Sailing Club's (or TCSC) Sea Shanty (Artists:: Alan Engler, Beth Kalin, Stacey Kelly and David Smith)
The Twin Cities Sailing Club has been sailing on Bde Unma/Lake Harriet for 20 years. Participants rock the shanty back and forth the simulate the motion of the water, all while learning some fun things about sailing and the Minneapolis sailing community.
Why Not Knit! (Artists:: Qian Liu and Jane Powers)
The Why Not Knit! shanty provides a place for people to meet each other and converse, through the act of joining threads together: knitting, crocheting, tying knots, braiding, and even weaving with your hands with gloves on. As in quilting bees, story yarns may evolve as the threads of yarn are joined. Along with weaving threads, participants can choose to add their verse to an ongoing poem, “why not knit!”.
Wish Factory (Artists:: Rick Beddoe, Scott Haug, Susan Haugen and Yuya Negishi)
Inside The Wish Factory, guests are invited to make a wish for themselves, for the universe or for the person behind them. Wishes are transformed into tokens in The Wish Factory Machine or hung on the walls for future guests to read.
Belozer’e is a Russian folk music and dance group whose work is predominately rooted in a traditional Slavic female culture and our performances are interpretations of centuries-old traditions. They are performing traditional folk dances as well as an ancient dance-ritual and a modern ritual of celebration (with very ancient roots.)
The Cold Case: A Puzzle Hunt (Artists:: Charles Borchert, Matt Mackall, Cali Mastny and Cole Sarar)
Solve The Cold Case, a sequence of puzzles hidden around Shanty Village and earn your shield! Assignments available for younger detectives as well as experienced sleuths.
Don't You Feel It Too? (Artists:: Rae Eden, Elizabeth Fontaine, Diane Hellekson and Theresa Madaus)
Don't You Feel It Too? (DYFIT) is the practice of dancing your inner nature in public places. Anyone can join this hybrid of flash mob, mind-body awareness practice, activism, and physical exercise. Bring your favorite music and earbuds (or borrow a pair from us), and help us create a spectacle while expanding the notion of what is acceptable in public. Benefits include stress relief, catharsis, confidence, and joy.
Energetic Tea Time (Artist:: Jess Hirsch)
Energetic Tea Time offers a warm cup of tea in a wooden kuksa (a nomadic drinking vessel made by the Sami people) and a contemplative walk with a partner whether paired with a stranger or friend. Participants are invited to talk about emotions while learning about energy medicine, often derived from the flowers from different trees.
Fire and Ice: A Winter Flamenco Odyssey (Artists:: Deborah Elias Danza Española with the Coro Flamenco Street Choir)
In a juxtaposition of Southern Spain and Minnesota, this combination flamenco procession, performance, and sing-along will heat up the ice with energy and festivity. The Coro Flamenco Street Choir will process around the shanties and gather to sing and dance to traditional flamenco songs. Visitors are invited to join the procession and join in the fun by doing palmas (rhythmic hand clapping), playing rhythm instruments, and singing along.
The GIANT Frame Photo Guestbook (Artist:: Patti J. Paulson)
Memorialize your visit to Art Shanty Projects with a photo taken in the GIANT Frame!! Take your own pics or pose for our camera. Images may be shared via social media.
Homos in Herstory (Artist:: Mr. Elvis)
A Bingo Shanty "interlude" with a fun, upbeat queer herstory quiz, asking questions like:
"How many soldiers who fought in the Civil War were assigned female at birth, but presented themselves as male soldiers?"
"Who is suspected to be America's first gay President?"
...and more! They're all 100% factually based from resources and research done at the Lesbian Herstory Archives.
Human-Sized Hamster Wheel (Artists:: Willis Bowman + Karen Haselmann)
Have you ever been curious why a hamster loves to run in their hamster wheel? Now is the time to find out. Get inside the human-sized hamster wheel and guess if you should have been born with four feet to play in this. Guaranteed a unique ride!
In Search of the Miraculous (Artists:: Bethany Lacktorin + Glenda Reed)
In Search of the Miraculous is a reading and sound performance of true-life tales of the sea from Reed's in-progress memoir about the three years she set out to sail around the world by hitchhiking on sailboats accompanied by Lacktorin's site-specific music and sound installation.
LADY BEAR the Polar Bear Puppet (Artist:: Kim Ford)
Lady Bear surprises and delights all who see her lumbering on the frozen lake. She loves people and enjoys being in selfies, having her nose rubbed and walking with you to visit all the Art Shanties. Come out and dance with Lady Bear!
Lady Xok (Artists:: Electric Machete Studios + friends)
Inspired by the original Maya queen, Lady Xok bleeding from the tongue, pulled from folk roots in Latin American Nueva Cancion and American Blues, and layered with distortion, minor tones, and storytelling. Lady Xok experiments with a mixture of Indigenous instruments, rock kits, and digital sounds. Lady Xok also experiments with projections and jaguar mask work on stage creating an atmospheric audio/visual experience in the contemporary concrete jungle.
Literary Dev(ICE) (Artist:: Cole Sarar)
Move between shanties and encounter hot pink signal flags emblazoned with a phone number and a word. Phone or text, and be greeted with poetry or flash fiction responding to the word you sent. Receive classic works and modern works created by local writers, and be drawn back and forth across Shanty Village to find the code word for the next poem.
Outdoor Painters of Minnesota
10-20 painters perform winter plein air painting. Painters display their paintings on portable display panels and interact with visitors about the techniques, joys and challenges of outdoor painting.
Pages from the Frozen Sea (Artists:: Eva Mantell and Sarah Stengle)
Pages from the Frozen Sea is a collaborative, participatory book art project involving ice, photography and an experimental approach to making an artists' book. A laminated version of the project will be on view, with "pages" from as far away places, as well as local ones. The project was inspired by Franz Kafka's quotation: "A book must be an ax for the frozen sea within us."
Prairie Fire Lady Choir:
Prairie Fire Lady Choir will perform a 45-minute set of their repertoire. Songs include covers from local artists Aby Wolf, Prince, The Replacements, and Jeremy Messersmith, as well as nationally-known talents, Leonard Cohen, Devo, and Neutral Milk Hotel, and original compositions from choir members.
Snowga (Artists: Yess Yoga, Lucia Yess, Tara Cantwell and Elisabeth Pletcher)
At Yess Yoga, our mission is to promote healthy hearts, bodies and minds. Snoga is open to all ages and skill levels-- even if you’ve never practiced yoga before. So bundle up and join us for a 30-minute yoga class. Please bring a mat if you have it.
Tiny ArtCar and ArtBike Parade ON ICE (Artists:: Carol Ahlgren, Allen Christian, Jan Elftmann, Sandee Elftmann, Ruthann Godollei, Mark Mueske, Patti Paulson, Janet Skidmore, Toni Brown Warner, Jill Waterhouse, and many more!)
The world’s only Tiny ArtCar and ArtBike Parade on Ice happens here in Minnesota on frozen Bde Unma/Lake Harriet! Join the ArtCar and ArtBike artists every at with our Remote Control Tiny ArtCars and ArtBikes.
Tonya and Nancy: The Opera (Artists:: Mixed Precipitation)
It's Olympic season! The world comes together in a gaudy display of global unity, while hungry competitors wow you with their theatrics, athletic prowess and heroism. Come relive the drama of the greatest rivalry in figure skating, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, with a contemporary opera presented by Mixed Precipitation.