Ice sculptures light up the night

Sarah Manriquez/Photo Editor

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“Triceratops” won fourth place in the Multi-Block Classic under the Realistic category at the 2017 World Ice Art Championships. It was sculpted by Clinton Rich, Connor Walling, Aaron Whitten and Jolie Skwiercz, from the United States. Sarah Manriquez/ Photo Editor Photo credit: Sarah Manriquez

The World Ice Art Championships are hosting their 26th year of the largest ice art competition worldwide. Attracting more than 100 ice artists from all over the globe, the World Championships have hosted 45 different countries participating in the competition over the years. The World Ice Champions origins date back to the 1930’s where Fairbanksians carved ice thrones for the winter carnivals in celebration of the anticipated arrival of spring and the new emerging daylight.

Formally founded in April 1990, the purpose of Ice Alaska is to promote artistic and educational endeavors sing ice and snow and to enhance and promote international friendships, according to the Ice Alaska website.

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“True Colors,” sculpted by Heather Brice and Steve Brice from the United States, won third place in the Single Block Classic Competition under the Realistic category. Sarah Manriquez/ Photo Editor Photo credit: Sarah Manriquez

There are several competitive events but the two main competitions are are Single Block Classic and the Multi-Block Classic. The Single Block Classic are made up of teams of 2 members. Each team is given one block of ice. The block is approximately 5 feet by 8 feet by 3 feet and weighs over 7,000 pounds. Artists can work around the clock but are only given 60 hours to complete the sculpture.

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“In the Weeds,” sculpted by Stan Kolonko and Jerry Preun from the United States, won fourth place in the Single Block Classic competition under the Realistic category at the 2017 World Ice Art Championships. Sarah Manriquez/ Photo Editor Photo credit: Sarah Manriquez

The Multi-Block Classic is made up of teams of two to four members, although four-member teams are strongly encouraged. Each team is given 10 block of ice. Each block is approximately 4 feet by 6 feet by 3 feet. Each team must use a minimum of 46,000 pounds of the ice provided. Artists have 132 hours to complete their sculpture.

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“Chained Evolution” was sculpted by Jeff Kaiser and Brian McKinney and entered in the Single Block Classic competition under the Abstract category at the 2017 World Ice Art Championships. Sarah Manriquez/ Photo Editor Photo credit: Sarah Manriquez

The ice used for the competition is strikingly clear and over the years has been nicknamed “Arctic Diamond” ice by the artists. Most of the ice is harvested from O’Grady Pond, which is located at the Ice Park.

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The Multi-Block Classic competition is comprised of teams of 2-4 artists given 10 blocks of ice that each weigh approximately 7,000 pounds and they have 132 hours to complete their sculpture. The four sculptures pictured here required artists to use at least 64,000 pounds of the ice provided. Sarah Manriquez/Photo Editor Photo credit: Sarah Manriquez

The Sculptures will be on display through March 26 at the George Horner Ice Park on the west end of Phillips Field Road. General admission is $15. Interested people can visit the Ice Alaska website for more information.

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