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My Gallery Visit

I found my visit to the art shanty project to be fun and exciting because there is so much there to explore. Medicine Lake is literally a few blocks from my house, so I took a trip home and headed out to the lake. I arrived to see what, to me, seemed like a tiny eccentric neighborhood sitting out on the ice. I was excited as I approached seeing kids flying kites and an entire shanty being steered around the ice and powered by several people pedaling. The first shanty that caught my eye was the mini fridge shanty which people where crowding into to enjoy the surprising warmth inside. The pattern the black fridges made on the outside of the shanty looked pretty awesome, and I got to meet the artist's dog inside as well. I left to find many artistically designed and altered cars, one with squares of colored tape covering the surface to make a bird and sky pattern, to another covered in household knick knacks which were glued to its surface and protruding in all directions.
From there I enjoyed playing a quick game of boggle in one of the dice houses (which I quickly lost) with another person enjoying life out on the ice. They were small and comfy nonetheless and deeply enjoyable.
Continuing on I passed by the surfacing U.S.S Walter Mondale, on my way to what turned out to be one of my favorite visual shanties I was to visit, the paper shanty. I walked in to find several people hard at work on what appeared to be paper cranes and other assorted paper animals, and a couple of the designers of the shanty, who struck me as nice paper loving hippies. I loved the way the light slanted in through the slats of the construction, which went down both sides, in conjunction with the assortment of paper cranes hanging from the ceiling. Although I would have stayed, there was very little room left for me to attempt to make a paper something, so I slipped out and moved on.
The next shanty I visited was the art post shanty, marketed as the world’s only post office on ice (I think that’s a little debatable considering Iceland must have post offices somewhere). I spent some time creating a post card out of stamps, attempting to make a screaming man look like he was swallowing a frog with limited success. Upon completing my post card masterpiece, which I then kept, I wondered around on the ice spying out the most interesting looking shanty to visit next.
I stepped into what looked like a bare shack with a couple guys in it I assumed to be the artist’s. I quickly realized I had found the dancing shanty, unfortunately when it was completely devoid of other people, found myself feeling very awkward and tried to back out the door as unnoticeably as possible.
I made stops in several other shanties including the snapshot shanty where I had my picture taken and the photographer loved that I was wearing purple gloves, and the Ped Pex Power Pod where I observed others laboring on stationary bikes and creating the power used to boil water and make tea in the pod. I also took a button, and then left. I was disappointed that when I was there K-ICE studios was not up and running because I had been hoping to sit on and maybe participate in some on ice radio interviews, something I had heard about from others who had visited the shanty.
By this time, however, I realized that I couldn’t stay any longer and even though I had visited many of the different shanties and had a lot of fun exploring the artists’ vision I knew that there was even more that I had missed. There are a great many things to do at the Art Shanty projects and hope they continue so I can visit again next year.

Scott Luisi