Today I asked the family to join me on the ice. When I said this, my husband just about jumped up and down because he thought I had finally come around and fell in love with ice fishing... WRONG! I wanted to go to the Art Shanty Project in White Bear Lake. It was such a perfect day for it! My kids had a blast and a half! If you look at the website you will find a TON of sponsors, the activities for each weekend and the directions. It's open every Saturday and Sunday in the month of February and each weekend has a little different flair to it. If you live in MN, this was a fun afternoon and I would encourage you to check it out. I want to share some of the Shanty's that we thought were a lot of fun.
Matisse's Vote: The Moving Polar Bear.
This giant bear was powered by bike pedals and a dozen bikers. It was mostly recycled materials and the drivers were half of the charm. They dressed the part and tried to chase people as well as the bike seal below. She loved the physical of this mobile Art Shanty.
Sawyer's Vote: The Music Shanty
This shack was an instrument that you walked into. There were strings below attached from the top to the ice. You can strum the chords and play music. They also had microphones that amplified the sounds from under the water. It was an interesting concept. This shack was all black and no light could penetrate the sides of it. The brightness in this image is the light from the ice. Isn't that amazing? I have lived my whole life in MN and didn't know this concept that the ice carries so much light.
Tim's Vote: Window into the Lake (not sure if that was the name of it)
One of the shacks was darkish and had this big spear hole in it. The hole was covered with glass but it gave this window to the bottom of the lake. White Bear Lake appeared to be very clear. We were there for a few minutes and a HUGE northern swam past. It was so casual. I loved that the fish was just chill'n in its home as a huge party was going on above it.
My Vote: This Turquoise Little Treat!
If I were to make a shack... it would be this one. It was retro, turquoise (my favorite color for decorating) and had some great craftsmanship (there's the art teacher in me). On the outside, there was these cute little hand crafted and painted fish. For those of you who don't know, when you catch winter fish and plan to eat it, you simply place it on the ice beside. These stacked up fish remind me of playing house (or playing ice fishing in this case). Inside there were more fish. These were little minnow-like fish made from felt, sequence and a washer on its mouth. You could go fishing with a magnet to 'catch' these little gems.
Other interactive parts to this shack was that you could make a commemorative pin to wear. I love it! I made one with a fish tail on it and will wear it on my winter jacket.
On the outside of the shack was a cartoon that entertained Tim as we were doing the crafts inside. It told a story of a family going out ice fishing. The Dad's list was quite short with tip-ups, bait, and beer. The Mom's list was filled with snacks, games for the kids, extra mittens and so on. The Moms list was much longer. It continued with some good old Minnesota humor.
Other great shacks allowed us to print potatoes.
We got to dance.
You walked into the Dance Shanty and you had to move your body. It was so much fun!
We were asked to share our thoughts...
In this shanty, we shared our thoughts or drawings. It was fun to read others comments. And my kids loved the typewriter.
We got to pray.
In this shanty we were encouraged to send our thoughts to the wind. The shack was manually spun while the visitors were in it.
This was really an amazing shack. It was an art studio. There was a painter inside with a painting on an easel. It was almost like being at a zoo, but instead of an animal inside, there was an Artist.
Every now and again there was a parade of Art Cars that drove around the shacks. There was so much action and color to this day it kept a smile on my face the whole time.
It was fun to even see some of the families that were visiting participate in the art displays. Check out his great penguin sliding on his belly. Clever.