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A group of people hold up a trophy made of ice.
Photograph: By Julienne Schaer / Courtesy of Governors Island Winter Village

Want to carve your own ice sculpture? Now’s your chance at this cool Governors Island event

Or just watch the amazing artists at the Ice Sculpture Show in February.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

There's a super cool (literally) ice sculpture show coming to Governors Island in February, and you can get in on the fun. 

NYC artists and artist teams are invited to submit ideas for an ice sculpture, and those who are picked will get supplies, expert guidance and $2,000 to participate. If sitting back and watching is more of your thing, you can see the sculptors create their icy masterpieces at the Governors Island Arts’ Winter Ice Sculpture Show on Saturday, February 18. 

RECOMMENDED: NYC events in January 2023

If you want to submit an ice sculpture design, you'll have to hurry up because submissions are due on Tuesday, January 17. Artists of all backgrounds and disciplines are welcome to submit ideas; artists can work independently or with a team. Apply here.

A variety of ice sculptures of animals.
Photograph: By Julienne Schaer / Courtesy of Governors Island Winter Village

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of experts made up of New York City cul­tur­al lead­ers, including Shintaro Okamoto (Okamoto Studio) known for his stunning ice sculptures. The 10 selected proposals will receive an award of $2,000 to par­tic­i­pate, along with tools, pro­duc­tion mate­ri­als and mentorship from a pro­fes­sion­al ice carv­er from Okamoto Stu­dio to help on event day.

This is the second year for the Winter Ice Sculpture show. Last year's sculptures included an eagle, a dog, a lamb and, of course, an ice trophy.   

The event is meant to democratize ice carving, "transforming it into one open to all artists regardless of discipline and previous experience," per Gov­er­nors Island Arts. While ice sculpture competitions and exhibitions have a long history around the world, they are not typically seen on a grand scale in New York City—and they are often limited to artists who specialize in ice carving. 

A woman holding a chainsaw carves a large block of ice.
Photograph: By Julienne Schaer / Courtesy of Governors Island Winter Village

During the event, visitors can watch live ice carving, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. There will also be music, warm drinks and a chance to vote on their favorite for the "People's Choice Award" sculpture. The art will remain on view on Governors Island until it melts.

While you're at Governors Island, don't miss the rest of the wintry fun at the Winter Village. You can glide along a 7,500-square-foot skating rink, warm up by fire pits, rent sleds, and order some fish-and-chips or vegan chili.

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