Art in Ice in Minneapolis (MN)

Cher’s Famous Art

20 February 2021

Art in Ice

Celebrate Art, Parks, and Winter in Minnesota!

The Mia (Minneapolis Institute of Art) has created an Art In Ice exhibition in collaboration with the Minneapolis Park Board to display ice sculptures of Mia favorites for the rest of February (or until weather prevents it). Signs at each park introduced the “real thing” for us to compare to its companion in ice.

The ice sculptures were created by Chris Swarbrick of Ice Occasions.

“Your Dog “

Lake Bde Maka Ska (formerly Calhoun), NE corner

The day was sunny! The temperatures were finally above zero–a balmy 20 degrees!

It was a perfect day for a long-awaited field trip with my very best and most loyal student (aka my dear husband, Skip! Thanks!).

He has faithfully trekked with me all over the world, seeking out great art in great museums.

Today we wound around the freeways and back streets of Minneapolis looking for frozen art and enjoying interesting neighborhoods along the way.

P.C. Fellow Visitor 19 Feb 2021

I was just giddy! I haven’t been out much the past year. I typically spend most of my school year at the Mia, leading tours for my students. This year I’ve only been their once in the past 15 months.

I LOVE outdoor sculpture gardens! One major reason is that I can TOUCH the artwork! No “Stay 12″ away from the Art” rules in the great outdoors!

For that, this big white frozen dog got a great big warm hug!

P.C. Skip B 19 Feb 2021

Your Dog” at the Mia by Yoshitomo Nara (2002) is made of fiberglass. The real thing is even larger than the snow sculpture: 6′ x 4′ x 9′!

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

“Your Dog” took us a while to find. We wound around Lake Bde Maka Ska almost twice before discovering it hiding in plain sight on the NW corner of the lake by the big colored “Lily Tomlin Chairs.” (See Travel Tips below for route suggestions.)

This sculpture received my “Closest to the Real Thing” award. Simple, clean lines and sold white color made a successful transition from a fiberglass to a snow sculpture.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

“Celestial Horse”

North Commons Park, NE corner

The “Celestial Horse” is one of my Mia favorites for its balance, poise and both facial and bodily expressions.

It is also my favorite of the five Art in Ice sculptures in this exhibit.

Park address and directions listed under Travel Tips at the end of this post.

P.C. Skip B 19 Feb 2021

“Celestial Horse” received my “Gasp! Most Exquisite” award. The clarity of the ice and the positioning of the head and expressions in the mouth took my breathe away.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

“Celestial Horse” at the Mia was created by an unknown artist from China about 25-220. It is made of bronze with traces of polychrome. While the ice horse is life-size, the original is about 45″ tall, 34″ long and 14′ wide–but just as imposing.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

I loved the way the bright sun and the deep blue sky played with the clear, carved ice. It was fun to see how that impacted my photos!

.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

If it had not been so cold…I might have laid down on the snow and seen what other fun photos I could have taken!

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

This sculpture was the one that truly looked more like clear glass than ice.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

“Veiled Lady”

Longfellow Park, S/SW corner

“Veiled Lady” has always been one of the all time favorites at the Mia for both my students and for me. It is a very complex marble sculpture with strong visual effects.

I was curious to see how it could translate into ice.

P.C. Skip B 19 Feb 2021

“Veiled Lady” at the Mia is about 21″ and was sculpted in marble c. 1860 by Italian sculptor Raffaelo Monti.

Read more about Mia’s exquisite “Veiled Lady” on my Art & Travel: Mia blog.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

Unlike “Celestial Horse” whose overall appearance was enhanced by the trees and sunlight shining through the clear ice, I feel that the this is very distracting for “Veiled Lady.” Being able to see the trees and the sky behind her was almost ghost-like, and rather unnerving for me.

Although well done, “Veiled Lady” earned the “Most Disappointing” award from me.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

“Olive Trees”

Washburn Fair Oaks Park, North of Mia, South side of park

“Olive Trees” earned the “Most Surprising” award from me today. The only painting of the five, I wondered how the artist would interpret this in ice. I found it intriguing on many levels.

P.C. Skip B 19 Feb 2021

With the majestic Neo-Classic northern entrance of the Mia as its background, this “painting” is larger-than-real-life but true to color and texture. The warmth of the radiant sun in the painting serves to counter-balance the ice in which it is encased.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

“Olive Trees” was painted by Vincent Van Gogh in 1889 in southern France. At only 28 1/2″ x 36″, the ice painting is quite a bit larger than its original oil painting.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

The ice sculptor did some interesting things with his creation. He divided the “canvas” into six rectangles making the appearance of window panes. The lower half has ice dripping down the “glass” giving a cold effect to an otherwise warm scene. Van Gogh enhances his radiant sunlight in the original with globs of thick paint. The ice sculptor creates this effect with heavy globs of thick ice for an interesting impact on the viewer.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

“Aphrodisiac ‘Lobster’ Phone”

Boom Island, north entrance, 724 Sibley Street NE

I enjoy Salvador Dali’s fun use of creating irreverent and often ridiculously silly art out of every-day, regular objects: clocks, lips. . . in this case, lobsters. His sculptures and paintings of lobster phones are fascinating, albeit impossible to actually use!

P.C. Skip B 19 Feb 2021

Salvador Dali’s “Aphrodisiac / Lobster Phone” at the Mia is only about the size of a regular phone, so this is quite a size upgrade when made in ice! However, the smooth plastic and metal original done in monochromatic white translates easily into the white ice sculpture.

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

“Most Underwhelming for the Setting” award. Because there was so much white-on-white, it was difficult to fully appreciate the detail and the shape of this very fun sculpture, blown up to many times its original size (about 8″ x 6″ x 12″).

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

The last stop on our field trip, this one had the interesting impact of the shadows of the setting sun along with the darkening Minneapolis skyline.

A grand finale for a grand day!

For more information on the exhibit and the artworks:

P.C. Cher B 19 Feb 2021

TRAVEL TIP: GPS is great in locating these sculptures as they are all over the city and all on side streets. Not counting travel time to and from our house, the entire route from our first and last stop took us about 2 hours, allowing for an unplanned, scenic drive around the entirety of Lake Bke Maka Ska! Add time if you want to do addition exploring or walking at any stop.

  • Parking is easy–and FREE–as there is parking on the street or in lots. Getting from one place to the other can nearly all be navigated from one point to the other on streets (vs. freeway). Your START point will depend on where you live. Have a plan for your route. The sequence of ours works well, no matter where you start.
  • Our START POINT was South Minneapolis: Longfellow Park. It was right next to the community center parking lot. 3435 36th Avenue South.
  • Second Stop: we crossed 35W to Lake Bke Maka Ska; remember there are some one-way streets all over and around the lake. The Sculpture is NE corner, of the lake close to where Lake Street intersects the road going around the lake. watch for the colorful Lily Tomlin chairs.
  • Third, we went north to the Mia; the sculpture is on the north side of the museum and SW corner of the park on 24th Street. Enter the park from the SW corner; the sculpture is sort of hidden in the trees, Street parking abounds. Mia address is 2400 3rd Avenue South.
  • Fourth, using GPS, we then snaked onto the I-94 freeway going north to North Commons Park in North Minneapolis. 1801 James Avenue North. (I argued with the GPS Lady on this one, but it turned out she was right on this one; I don’t think I’d have found it on my own).
  • Last stop was Boom Island, across the Mississippi River. We had to cross both I-94 and the river to get to the the Fifth Stop, and then home. 724 Sibley Street NE.
  • Side note: I think that the last two stops (Boom Island, east side of river, and North Commons, west side of river), could be interchanged after leaving the Mia depending on where you were going after that.

2 thoughts on “Art in Ice in Minneapolis (MN)

  1. It was a fun, sunny afternoon art feast. I always delight in you being delighted at art you see. I thought the Horse was the most significant one too. The many tiny grooves gave the horse excellent refracted light that added an interesting color show.

    Liked by 1 person

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