Ice sculptures light up the night
Sarah Manriquez/Photo Editor
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.