Over a dozen artistic and ingenious ice shanties are on view at Retreat Farm (https://www.retreatfarm.org/) from February 13 to 28. Visitors are encouraged to check them out anytime between dawn and dusk, and to pair their visit with ice skating on the Retreat Meadows (conditions permitting) or walking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing on the trails at Retreat Farm. All activities are free and open to the public. Masks and social distancing are required. Museum staff will be on hand and serving complimentary hot cocoa on Saturdays and Sundays, 10-2.
Among those who have constructed shanties for the event are sculptor Bruce Campbell, artist Myles Danaher, avid ice fisherman Stephen Haisley, Charlie Konkowski, elementary school teacher Rachel Mangean, muralist Craig Roach (in collaboration with Peter Poanessa of Signworx), Slipstream Farm, and Winchester Design. Grafton Village Cheese will present a cheese-shaped shanty.
The Artful Ice Shanties Design-Build Competition showcases the artistic talent and creative ingenuity of the Brattleboro region and honors the enduring tradition of ice fishing at the Retreat Meadows. It is presented in connection with two BMAC exhibits on view through March 6, “Ice Shanties: Fishing, People & Culture” and “Erik Hoffner: Ice Visions.”