Governor’s Island’s 2023 Ice Sculpture Show. Photo courtesy of Governors Island Arts/Julienne Schaer.
Pairing Artists & Professional Ice Carvers for Public Art Installation
Centered Around the Theme of Love, Winning Design Will Be Realized as Large-Scale Ice Sculpture for Times Square’s Annual ‘Love in Times Square’ Event on February 14, 2024, On View Until It Melts
—Applications for Ice Sculpture Designs Now Open—
Governors Island Arts and Times Square Arts are pleased to announce a new partnership and open call for Governors Island’s third annual Ice Sculpture Show, taking place on Saturday, February 3rd. The festive winter event will coincide with the annual Love in Times Square fete on February 14, 2024, which celebrates Valentine’s Day with weddings, surprise proposals, and vow renewals in the square’s plazas.
The Ice Sculpture Show provides New Yorkers and visitors from around the world with the singular opportunity to experience live ice carving, alongside all the open space, cultural, educational, and historic resources and attractions that the Island offers year-round. Artists of all disciplines are invited to submit their proposed artwork online at govisland.org/ice-show through November 17, 2023.
Ten artists will be chosen and each selected finalist will be paired with a professional ice carver from Okamoto Studio, where sculptures will be carved in a two-hour public event on Governors Island on Saturday, February 3rd, 2024. Visitors are invited to witness this real-time ice carving and vote on their favorite sculpture for the “People’s Choice Award” at the end of the event. A larger-scale version of the winning sculpture will then be carved and installed by Okamoto Studio in Times Square as a visual anchor for the district’s annual Valentine’s Day events, where New Yorkers and visitors alike will celebrate love through surprise proposals, weddings, and vow renewal ceremonies on the Square’s iconic Red Steps.
“The annual ice sculpture show provides direct support for local artists and brings New Yorkers an incredible ephemeral public art experience on Governors Island in the winter months,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “This unique event is one of many reasons to visit the Island during the winter season, and we are thrilled to partner with Times Square Arts this year to provide artists with a truly one of a kind opportunity.”
The partnership between Governors Island Arts and Times Square Arts underscores both organization’s shared commitment to showcasing creative talents and providing free, accessible public art experiences. While ice sculpture competitions and exhibitions have a rich global history, they are not typically showcased on a grand scale in New York City—and are often limited to artists who specialize in ice carving. The Ice Sculpture Show aims to democratize this popular activity, making it accessible to artists of varying experience and disciplines.
“We are so excited to bring the annual Ice Sculpting Show from Governors Island to the Island of Manhattan, and have the winning design melt the hearts of the hundreds of thousands of visitors in Times Square this February,” said Times Square Arts Director Jean Cooney.
Artists will be notified by December 22, 2023 and submissions will be published online. An artist reception will follow the show on February 3rd and sculptures will remain on view on Governors Island until they melt. A large-scale version of the winning artwork will be installed in Times Square on February 14th.
About Times Square Arts
Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places. Through the Square’s electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance’s own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators, such as Charles Gaines, Joan Jonas, Jeffrey Gibson, Pamela Council, Mel Chin and Kehinde Wiley, to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a cultural district and place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the arts program ensures these qualities remain central to the district’s unique identity.
About Governors Island Arts
Governors Island Arts, the public arts and cultural program presented by the Trust for Governors Island, creates transformative encounters with art for all New Yorkers, inviting artists and researchers to engage with the issues of our time in the context of the Island’s layered histories, environments, and architecture. Governors Island Arts achieves this mission through temporary and long-term public art commissions, an annual Organization in Residence program in the Island’s historic houses, and free public programs and events in partnership with a wide range of cross-disciplinary NYC cultural organizations. For more information, visit www.govisland.org/giarts
About the Trust for Governors Island
The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust’s mission is to realize the full potential of Governors Island for the inspiration and enjoyment of all New Yorkers, demonstrating a bold vision for public space. For more information, visit www.govisland.org