Patrick J. Endres


Artists of a unique medium converge in Fairbanks, Alaska every March to create masterpiece sculptures made from giant blocks of ice. Fairbanks’ ice, dubbed the Arctic Diamond, is renowned for its purity, which lures craftsmen from all parts of the globe to attend the World Ice Art Championships in the city’s hub. It is indeed a competition, but it’s also a festival. During a frenetic few weeks, visitors can watch the artists transform rectangular ice blocks weighing thousands of pounds into geometric wonders the sizes of small trees. At night these imaginative scenes and mythic figures shimmer and sparkle under colored lights. This is ephemeral art in the truest sense, the kind that melts, evaporates and sublimates until nothing remains but a space to be filled the next year with another magical landscape.