Leelanau News and Events

Old Art Building Hosts First-Ever Outdoor Ice Sculpting Event On Saturday

Feb. 17, 2021

The snow-cloaked front lawn at the Old Art Building in Leland will be home to a team ice sculpting event on Sat., February 20.

The Icebreaker Challenge will take place from 10am to 4pm with “food, fire, and fun for all,” and is free to the public. Stroll pathways to view ice carving in action, enjoy chili and s’mores from Leland Lodge, and warm up at one of several bonfires. The event will include up to 10 sculpting teams from the Leelanau/Grand Traverse area and a professional demonstration by a former ice art world champion. 

Old Art Building Executive Director Becky Ross says this first-time event was born from the Old Art Building’s desire to offer an outdoor event to the community while people are searching for safe options to get out of the house this winter.

“And then we found Steven Berkshire – a world champion ice carver – who lives in TC!” she says.

Berkshire, owner of Ice Impressions of Traverse City will be on site from 11am – 2pm carving his own design into 600 pounds of ice block.

The Old Art Building is also inviting novie ice sculpting teams to the Icebreaker Challenge, comprised of a variety of locals, some of whom are artists and others who are just looking to try something new.

“The focus is on fun and creativity, and this is not a competition,” says Ross. “We are still looking for a few more people/teams to carve,” says Ross. (Call 231-256-2131 to register or for information).

The organizers ask for social distancing among spectators at this low-key precursor to what they hope is a more robust event in the future. Afterward, ice scupltures on the lawn will be available to meander by and view anytime — as long as the ice holds.

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