Painter and Ice Cube Gallery co-organizer Victoria Ward said she has always been fascinated by the sight of huts on ice surfaces.
“It was a really interesting interplay into how people exist in the wilderness,” she said. “In the wintertime, I think the most remarkable little dwellings, little shelters, are ice huts.”
It is that fascination which Ward said has led her to painting the ice huts, art which she will have on display as part of the Ice Cube Gallery Feb. 9-10. The gallery will be spread across three huts on the frozen ice of Lake Kashagawigamog, with each hut featuring work by a different artist.
Ward, who has lived in the county for almost 20 years, said she, partner Gary Blundell and event co-organizer Collin Burke were enjoying themselves on the ice when the idea started to form.
“We started chatting about how great it would be to have an ice hut turned into something cultural,” Ward said. “It is already a cultural icon, to a certain extent, but what if we put art in it?”
In addition to Ward’s work, the other huts will feature works by painter Rod Prouse and sculpture artists Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg. Besides Ward and Burke, Toronto-based artist Patrick Lightheart is also co-organizing the event.
The ice huts housing the art will also be custom made. Ward said the event also includes music and local food for people to enjoy as they view the gallery.
“People will come. It’ll be a very different kind of event from here,” Ward said. “We’re really hoping that it’s a beautiful evening and the people who come from away can see how gorgeous it can be here in the winter time.”
Ward said they are open to doing the gallery again in future but want to consider that more after the event happens. People will be charmed by the gallery, she said. She also called people fishing on the lake with ice huts “remarkable.”
“It’s actually kind of exotic,” Ward said. “It’s kind of what makes living in rural Canada really interesting and really unique.”
The gallery takes place on Lake Kashagawigamog outside the Bonnie View Inn Feb. 9 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Feb. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.