Monday, January 24, 2022

Art Shanty Projects on Bde Unma (Lake Harriet)

It doesn't get much more Minnesotan than outdoor opera performed on a frozen lake, surrounded by art installations. This is Art Shanty Projects, now in their 14th year, celebrating winter, the great outdoors, and art. Their mission: "Art Shanty Projects intentionally creates an impermanent art village on Minnesota lake ice amid changing climate and environment. With a spirit of embracing challenges through creativity, we support an ecosystem that inspires everyone to create and participate in art, thrive in winter, and build community." Since theater is a bit slow at the moment, I used my spare time to visit the shanties for the first time last weekend. It runs for another two weekends, and you can find all the information here, including performance schedules. Scroll down for my photo journal of my day (well, hour and a half) at the Art Shanties.

the entrance where relevant info is posted

the plowed path out to the shanties

no it's not an oasis, it's not a mirage, it's art!

I caught a performance of opera selections by An Opera Theatre, called Frigid Airs. Loose, fun, accessible, and truly impressive musicianship, especially considering the conditions! I also saw zAmya Theater's performance of Hou(se) the Weather, a short piece on the effects of climate change on homeless. And some dancing butterflies.

Also theater-related: one of my favorite Fringe companies The Winding Sheet Outfit built this beautiful shanty of time. Called "The Tick-Tock Shanty: The Shanty Where We Waste Time," it encourages people to share ways that they waste time, and allows us to watch people sitting in the shanty wasting time.

More shanties:

Visit the Art Shanty Projects Saturday and Sunday through February 6 from 10am to 4pm. Masks are encouraged (and really do keep your face warm in the bitter cold). Food trucks are on site, although food cannot be taken into the village. A little tip: dress appropriately for the weather, and then put on another layer. It's even colder than you think when you're standing on ice.