The Ice Show

Sculpted Ice is a remarkable sight to see. I was fortunate to have met some amazing people while in Alaska who drove me to a wonderful display of carved ice sculptures. While sitting around the table at Billie’s I heard many of the others talking about the show. My cousins had planned two days snowboarding for some romance and I relaxed back at the hostel. While by myself I met some amazing people and we all piled into a van from one of the staff from Billie’s to head out to the Ice Show. If you are ever in Fairbanks, and the annual show is happening, please go…you will be glad you did..if you dress warm! So after piling in a van with no seats and learning Alaska gives people a break on insurance for broken windshields since it happens regularly, we made it to the show during daylight. I had no idea what was in store as the night fell.

Beautiful lights abound highlighting the sculptures. These were all huge and I felt like I was walking in a winter wonderland. The artists designed the ice by using chainsaws which I found fascinating. During the daylight we got to see one artist finishing up his work before the contest closed. His was a huge scene of Santa, the sled flying through the air, and all of the reindeer. The artist had most of the sculpture completed but we had the pleasure of watching him carve the last two giant blocks of ice. I found it especially interesting watching relief carving since I studied over in Italy when I was younger and saw a ton of marble sculptures and learned about the technique. This however was from chisel to chainsaw and a totally different medium from rock to ice. How did either not crack? Fascinating!! I wish I could find my photograph of that specific sculpture but am happy my mind remembers it.

Soulful Wanderer• Watercolor Portrait • Karen Hilliard Art
“Soulful Wanderer” from the Fairbanks Ice Show in Alaska

Another sculpture I loved was a giant wine glass tilted on its side with wine pouring out of it into the shape of a wave. The lights behind it were red and just really brought this piece to life. All I thought was how I wanted my cousin to see it so I decided I had to go back another night. While with my new friends, I took an amazing picture of one of them. My camera exposure was not set correctly for all the lights and his face got a little distorted and pulled by the beautiful colors. I wanted to print the photo and paint it when I returned home. This painting is titled, “Soulful Wanderer” because this person travels a lot! He is filled with love and light and just truly enjoys every moment he is in. Originally from Argentina and residing currently in France, combined with his love of traveling, had me really wanting to show emphasis on his camera strap. He loves his Nikon and taking photographs. He also loves to dance so I wanted to represent that jovial energy and movement in this painting. This is an Original Watercolor with no Prints made, and it is available. The link is under the painting. I hope you like it and I will share more about that night and other sculptures in my next blog. It was an amazing show! As for now, thank you for reading and happy Monday. If you would like to show support I have joined ”buy me a coffee” recently where viewers can contribute. This small act of kindness helps keep me motivated and is much appreciated. Here is the link, and Thank you!

-Karen Hilliard

Here are the Christmas Ornaments for 2023! These have inspired me to write about my trip to Alaska, and I hope you enjoy the journey. The link to all my Tundra Collection is HERE!!

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