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. Thousand 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.


AstroLounge (Artists:: Patrick Erbe, Shannon Fletcher, Hanna Kjeldbjerg, Grace Lansing, Rachel Mogck, Rebecca Mogck, Airin Murphy, V.S. Ramstack, Kellie Reichert, Tim Schumacher, Ramy Selim, Trevor Simmons, and Ben Pecholt) Local artist collective Err and Sunny Day Earth Solutions present the AstroLounge. Terrestrial sky-gazers and cosmic trailblazers are welcomed into the cozy comfort of this shanty's lounge-inspired interior. Visitors can deepen their knowledge and indulge their curiosity relating to outer space and its many complexities through an array of perspectives ranging from the astrological to the astronautic.

Aurora Shanty (Artists :: Alan Palazzolo, Leah Puffer, Kristen Murray and Rox Johnson) Bringing the magic of the night scky and wonder of the aurora borealis to what is mostly a daytime event, this solar-powered shanty will delight all with a data-driven, interactive light show.

Botanical ShanTea (Artists:: Libby London, Emma Schroeder, Aaron Fitch, Lars Hansen, and Brian Hedburg) A permaculture-inspired tea garden and site for learning about, viewing, and tasting the abundance of Minnesota plants here in our cold climate. This shanty invites guests to walk through a frozen garden of native plants before joining the group inside to taste the abundance of the season.

Boiler Room Shanty (Artist:: Clara Schiller and Amelia Foster) This shanty is designed to give visitors an external and internal peek at the rarely accessible space of a municipal boiler room. A custodian in uniform presents each guest with an official “Authorized Visitor” sticker inviting entrance to a room full of enigmatic boiler features: concrete floor, painted yellow lines, industrial signs, chain link fence, hanging light bulbs, dials, switches, breaker boxes, and pipes made of steel, copper and PVC.

The “Box” Studio (Artist:: Adam Jarvi) This shanty is a roving retreat for professional and aspiring artists to consider and contemplate the wintry milieu. People inspired by the lake and landscape—color, light, moods, and sights—of a Minnesota winter are invited to practice their craft while visitors mingle with artists-in-residence at work and in the field.

Catch Your Limit (Artists:: Rose Shetka, Martha Megarry, Peter Quinlan, Lori Quinlan, and David Megarry) This shanty takes inspiration from a 1960’s family ice fishing trip to Lake Mille Lacs. The shanty memoir includes a 2D comic strip inside a 3D re-creation of the original mid-century fish house in a comic book style. Visitors are invited to play along and participate with interactive activities and displays that include a set of bunk beds and cartoonish, child-safe, angling paraphernalia.

Chef Shanty (Artist:: Jeremy Bue) This shanty, inspired by cooking and craft, brings the love of art and food together in one inspired space. Visitors will engage with various fun and educational food connected projects and presentations by a wide group of culinary artists, visual artists, and food inspired folks.

Dance Shanty (Artists:: John Pederson, John Each, Brady Clark, Bethany Hall, Jake Ryan, and Mike Rassmusen) This shanty invites visitors to shed woolen layers and generate heat by scratching their dancing itch. This year's focus on a “forever young” mentality will feature music from all eras and times to connect the generations through dance and movement from a crew that encourages and embraces all forms of dance expression.

Data Lab Shanty (Artists:: Marieka Heinlen, Angela Maki North, Sarah Honeywell, Aaron Prust, Jason Burnanen, Laura Breshears, and Pader Fang) Using visual communication as a medium, this shanty seeks to build content from crowd-sourcing on-ice visitors. An on-ice exploration of quantitative and qualitative information gathering through surveys questionnaires and focus groups. Info-exhibits created by the artists enhance the visitor’s ability to visually absorb patterns in data.

Matoska Tonka Pedal Bears (Artists:: Allen Christian, Janet Groenert, Maryanna Harstad, Morgan L’Argent, Mary Jane LaVigne, Mina Leierwood, Jim Muellner, Richard Parnell, and Peter Schulze) The 20 foot long, 12 foot high, pedal-driven puppet and its 8 foot long, 5 foot tall bear cub will highlight language and legends. Participants will be challenged with a Dakota language word hunt, and visitors to the warming house can hear stories of Matoska Tonka (big white bear) and learn more about myths of the White Bear Lake moniker.

My Home is Minnesota
 (Artists:: Julie Strand and Britt Udesen) This shanty is a collaborative effort between a poet and printmaker focusing on an exploration of voices that occupy the internal environment and exist within a given community. Visitors will encounter and create definitions of home and Minnesota that respond to the natural elements of places as well as human interruptions in romantic landscapes.

Ouijatotter Shanty (Artists :: Paul Owen, Jeff Berg, and Derek Ahlberg) This shanty encourages lighthearted fun and interaction with other spectators. As visitors approach, they will be visually attracted to the fun-house circus exterior, and drawn in by the barking Ringleader spinning his enticing solicitation of the spectacle to be ridden and mystery inside. Willing participants ask a question they are yearning to know the answer to, and then jump on the Ouijatotter to solicit the answer. It teeter totters when several pairs of participants work together to answer questions posed.

Peace Train Shanty (Artists:: Dave Greenlund, Pam Schweitzer, Dan Mackerman, and Peg Cavanaugh) This shanty is a place of printmaking where people of every age and physical or artistic ability can express their thoughts on creating peace. When visitors enter, an artist will assist them in crafting a roll of tickets to travel on a personal journey towards peace. 

Performance HexaYurt (Artists:: Ephraim Eusebio and Rachel Schwartz) A traditional yurt provides a home for untraditional presentations. Check out the newsletter insert for a schedule of this year's rotating cast of performers each weekend.  

Shanti Shanty (Artists:: Yadin Dickstein and Sophie Vranian) From afar, this yurt on wheels is a dot of color in the white of snow and ice; from up close a icon of spiritual technology, ancient symbolism, and our place in the changing environment. Visitors outside can spin the shanty like a Tibetan prayer wheel, taking time to reflect on the symbolism of circum-ambulation: compassion, prayer, dharma, or perhaps just the winter sun. Decorate your own prayer flag to add to the Prayer Flag Fence and partake with various scheduled rituals such as smudging, kirtan, meditation, sound bathing, and a Jewish Tent Blessing.

Slumber Party Shanty (Artists:: Anthony Chapin, Erin Lavelle, Tami Traeger, Phillip O'Toole, Tim Harlan-Marks, Sarah Chapman, Alex Eninsche, Allison Osberg, Ryan Weber, and Thomas Menke) A giant enclosed bed on ice where guests of all ages attend slumber party up top after a visit with the monster underneath. Visitors enter the shanty through a secret passage and make their way through the dark corners under the bed. An opportunity to don costumes of choice is presented before guests head up to the slumber party to meet the host and play games with other attendees.

Sound + Vision (XXX) (Artists:: Julie Benda, Kelsey Bosch, Kathryn Miller) A collaborative project that endeavors to negotiate the mystery, femininity and physicality of frozen lakes. From a point near the geographical center of the water, this shanty invites visitors to explore how our senses of sound and vision inform our feeling of place.

Under the Lake / Sonic Shanty (Artists:: Rebecca and Jonathan Loyche) An interactive installation that allows visitors to hear what is going on under the ice and how their presence effects the lake on a sonic level. Audience members are also invited to subtly play the frozen lake as an instrument inside this sound chamber shanty.

The Shanty of Joy & Necessity (Artist:: David Pitman, 2014) In the center of the artist-driven temporary community is the gathering point for artists, performers, and audiences to warm their hands and hearts as they learn more about Art Shanty Projects from the more than 60 volunteers and contracted staff who give life to this uniquely Minnesotan festival each year.