The Art Shanty Projects — the Minnesota ritual that for eight winters has had artists reimagining ice-fishing shacks as tiny community art centers — is, for me, one of the most amazing features of the creative landscape here. Instead of merely enduring Minnesota’s inarguably harsh winters, participating ASP artists embrace it through wildly creative interventions on ice. Given its uniqueness — which attracted the attention of NPR yesterday — it’s no surprise that we bring artists out to Medicine Lake whenever we can. Here’s one example: When Belgian dancer/choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker was in town for the Walker’s 2008 performance of FASE: Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich, she found herself out on the ice with assistant Performing Arts curator Michèle Steinwald and the dance company’s director, Kees Eijrond. Why they were there, in Steinwald’s words: “so we could participate in trying to break the world record for the longest bunny hop on a frozen lake (formerly held by Minnesota before Wisconsin took it away). That is why Anne is making bunny ears with her hands. We were so cold!”
The 2012 edition of the Art Shanty Projects closes February 5.