Art on ice

College of Design student-created Welcome Shanty on Lake Harriet
The College of Design student-created Welcome Shanty on Lake Harriet.

As people from around the country gather in the Twin Cities for the NFL championship game, Minnesota is doing its best to showcase the state’s many qualities, and to dispel just as many myths—like that cold weather keeps people indoors.

U of M College of Design students, for example, have put a twist on the popular Minnesota pastime of ice fishing by creating an art shanty.

Since 2005, Art Shanty Projects has transformed frozen lakes near the Twin Cites into vibrant, artist-driven communities.

This year the projects are located on the inner-city Lake Harriet, and feature a Welcome Shanty designed and constructed by School of Architecture students in the “Welcome Shanty Design + Build workshop.”

The project is the culmination of a design process where students, instructors, and the Art Shanty Projects’ advisory team worked closely together. For many students, the format was a new learning experience.

“We needed to do a lot more work in a shorter amount of time than in other courses,” says architecture student Alden Jaakola.

At the beginning of the semester, students in the class were separated into groups to research what the new shanty should look like.

After getting feedback from Art Shanty collaborators, the instructors and students worked together to build a final design that included different components from each group.

The hands-on design/build process provided a lot of new learning opportunities for the students.

“Having this type of experience, working on a design dilemma, and being a part of it coming to life has helped me better understand my strengths,” says architecture student Lali Shupare.

“I have a sense of what I need to pursue to become a better designer, and I’ve gained an understanding of what aspects of the field I’m most interested in.”

The 2018 Art Shanty Projects is open every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., through Feb. 11.

A version of this story originally appeared on the College of Design blog.