The shanties are back, but this year they'll be on land. Deteriorating ice conditions forced Art Shanty Projects, the annual outdoor winter art experience, to abandon ice for land, but other than that, plans stay the same. The event kicks off on Saturday, running 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the band shell and on the shores of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. Artists pivoted to Plan Beach, a play on "Plan B," according to Artistic Director Erin Lavelle. Here are seven shanties that you shouldn't miss.
Get married at the Chapsicle of Love
Have you ever wanted to renew your marriage vows, or get married in a legally binding ceremony without throwing a wedding? Jerry Carlson, who is also a licensed minister through the Universal Life Church, his wife, Rachel Coyne, and their son Cyrus Carlson have created the Chapsicle of Love, or three life-size lip balms in passion fruit, wintergreen and berry flavors. Bring a marriage certificate, and regardless of sex or gender the ceremony can happen! Love is a broad topic, and the Chapsicle of Love welcomes any declarations of love, whether it's about singledom, partnership, best friendship or really anything else. Do people have to apply Chapstick while professing their love? Only if the weather calls for it.
Foreboding futures with Climate Walk on Ice
Wildfires. Two blizzards. And many more to come. It's not just an environmental disaster — it's a fashion disaster! At this year's Art Shanty Projects, the Fashion Disasters will host the Climate Walk, which will be bookended by presentations from activist organizations, meteorologist Sven Sundgaard and poet Claire Wahmanholm, who will read from her book "Meltwater." "We are inspired by what's happening around us all the time and sadly, I mean, we have such a fragile environment," said Patti Paulson of Fashion Disasters.
The Climate Walk on Ice will wander on Feb. 4 from 1-3 p.m., followed by a performance at 3 p.m.
The Magical Menagerie petting zoo
Fairy tales do come true, especially for those who have dreamed of petting a dragon or riding a unicorn. Minneapolis-based playwright and artist Eva Adderley grew up in Iowa and went to a lot of petting zoos as a kid. As an adult, she imagined something different. "I was like, 'I'll have a magical menagerie puppet petting zoo,'" she said. Adderley did much of the puppet building, Zarra TM painted unicorn stilts, MaryJo Nikolai constructed a nest and giant phoenix egg and carpet that it will hatch out of, and Dan DeMarco composed magical music. "The shanty is basically like a pseudo barn," she said.
Twin Cities Native Lacrosse invites people to play the Dakota and Ojibwe ball game. The shanty is named after the Dakota word for lacrosse and is meant to help people understand how the game is used to bond with others and honor connection to the land. "We bring extra sticks because one of the things that really intrigues people is being able to see the sticks and how they're different from modern lacrosse sticks, and people can try their hand at picking up the lacrosse ball or the creator's game ball," Twin Cities Native Lacrosse Co-Director Sarah Wheelock said.
This shanty is available Feb 11-12 from noon-4 p.m. only.
Visit the Tiny Treasure House
Imagine a little free library but with treasures instead of books. Bring a treasure, take a treasure, or give a treasure at this open-air shanty filled with nooks and crannies. To start, there will be around 800 treasures. "We're hoping that people will leave treasures, too," Tiny Treasure House Creator Haley Friel said. "There have been hundreds and hundreds of treasures we've been collecting from other artists that we have connections with."
Experience klezmer music
It's been three years, and Sarah Larsson and a crew of others have been learning to play klezmer music, also known as dance tunes of Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe. (Klezmer is also the Yiddish word for "music," a combination of the Hebrew words "klei" for vessel/instrument and "zemer" for song.) But this is the first year they'll take their klezmer music skills onto the ice.
"We love klezmer, but it doesn't feel like there are enough opportunities to be around that culture in the Twin Cities," Larsson said. There have always been Jews in Minnesota — the first folks owned a shop in St. Paul, circa 1851, and historically there was a big Jewish community on the Iron Range, Larsson said.
"I started thinking, what did our ancestors do in the winter?" she said. "My people were from Russia. We have this association that it was horrible … all these bummer stories, so that's the new story connection I am trying to make. How do we stay warm and have fun?"
Klezmer on Ice happens on Jan. 29 & Feb. 4 at noon & 2 p.m.
Get warm at the Blankets of Ice shanty
Have you ever wanted to sleep in an ice-covered bedroom? Nicole Rojas-Oltmanns and Monica Cavanaugh Rojas have created puzzle-like pieces for ice blankets. The artists bought a bunch of furniture that they then painted white, like ice, and froze many lots of ice. "You get to design your own blanket, and it will be forever changing as visitors come through," Rojas-Oltmanns said. "It's like Tangram puzzles."