Heart Warming Ice/Snow Art in the Arctic

Art enthusiasts around the world are continually looking for new art forms, venues and events.  There are water color fans, oil or acrylic paints, clay, metal and wood fans.  Permanent art allows viewers to go back over and over again to bask in the beauty of the piece.

Arctic “Site Specific Art” allows the artist to use the material of ice and snow to create incredibly heart warming, although temporary art.  Global tourists rush to these Northern destinations during the winter months to experience breathtaking sculptures created from ice and snow, knowing it will then melt come spring.  Follow these artists on their winter adventures as they shape, sculpt and saw these frozen materials into heart melting pieces of art!

Icehotel 29 The tao of cat. Artists Sonia Chow Huschang Pourian. Photo: Asaf Kliger

Edith van de Wetering and Wilfred Stijger of the Netherlands are among all time favored sand, ice and snow artists.  In his spare time Wilfred also invents sand, ice and snow carving tools. You will need your airline miles to follow this energetic couple this winter.  Presently, they have the permanent art suite “Out of the Box” in ICEHOTEL 365, the year round hotel that is part of ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi Sweden.  Last year Edith and Wilfred joined Tjasa Lucia Gusfors to create the Ceremony Hall in ICEHOTEL.  Although Wilfred and Edith had been together for many years, they had not married.  The Ceremony Hall was so majestic they decided to be the first of many to be married in the Ceremony Hall.   Their busy 2018 – 2019 calendar includes Moscow, Russia, December 19 – 28, 2018 to take part in the Russian Winter Festival where they will be creating an ice sculpture in Sokoniki Park.  This Winter Festival brings tourists from all over the world.  Next stop for Edith and Wilfred is the Deep Freeze Festival in Edmonton, Canada which starts January 12, 2019.  Here they will take about 10 days to create another brilliant ice sculpture.  This Festival will feature Indigenous performers all weekend.  Specifically, Saturday January 12th is Ukrainian Culture Day, and Sunday January 13th is Francophone Culture Day.  Edith and Wilfred will then head over to Lake Louise in the Banff National Park to compete in a snow sculpture completion during the event Banff Snow Days.  Afterwards, Wilfred will be giving snow sculpture demonstrations.  This is not to be missed as Wilfred is quite the showman!

ICEHOTEL 29 | Art Suite Spruce Woods Design Jennie O’Keefe & Christopher Pancoe. Photo Asaf Kliger





Latvian artists, Karlis Ile and his carving partner, Maija Puncule,  will also be bringing their sculpting magic to Northern Canada this winter. Karlis has an impressive sand sculpting resume, traveling internationally using sand to make the most magnificent creations.  He has also participated and placed in the famous Harbin Sun Island Snow and Ice Competition, the largest ice/snow events in the world.  This year Harbin Sun Island Snow and Ice Competition is held from December 20. 2018 – February 28, 2019.  This winter Karlis and Maija will also be in Canada.  The Ice Magic Festival, at Lake Louise in Banff, Canada, is their first event.  This event has been described as a world class ice craving festival.  The dates to experience this Festival are January 12 – 19, 2019.  Karlis and Maija will bring their brilliant sculpting talents to the  Ice on Whyte Festival.  This Festival boosts they honor the best of ice sculpting in Canada.  Karlis and Maija certainly fit into the envied category.




Laila Kolostyak, from Alta Norway, earns the title “Queen of Ice.” Laila is involved in ice art throughout Northern Norway and Russia. Laila has created snow sculptures for the Ice Sculpture Park in Snow Village in Kirovst, Murmanska Obast, Russia.  This Snow Village is open to tourists each November through March. Laila’s leadership skills help coordinate teams of students and artists to create massive snow installations, always with a cultural twist.  Each March she creates an ice and snow stage complete with huge ice props for the Borealis Winter Festival in Alta Center. This is quite an undertaking as it hosts a complex production celebrating the beginning of Finnmarkslopet , the longest European dog sled race. The live outdoor television station is also created with ice and snow – and by Laila.  This event from March 7 – 13, 2019 should be on the top of your Bucket List.




Tjasa Lucia Gusfors calls Sweden home, how lucky for Sweden!  Tjasa’s creative talents span from sculpting with ice, snow, and wood, to musical comedy, to creating giant, larger than life, puppets.  This winter one can experience Tjasa’s unique visual talent at ICEHOTEL 29, in northern Sweden.  Tjasa’s ICEHOTEL art suites have brought delight and wonder to countless guests throughout the years of ICEHOTEL.  Who can forget her Peacock Suite?  Last year’s Ceremony Hall was simply awe inspiring.  This winter Tjasa’s art suite is entitled “Oak Knowledge.”  It’s common knowledge this suite is worthy of a trip to this Arctic Winter Wonderland!






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