Who's Behind the Impromptu Ice Sculptures at Burlington City Hall Park? | Visual Art | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Who's Behind the Impromptu Ice Sculptures at Burlington City Hall Park?



Published January 17, 2013 at 8:39 p.m.

I know not everyone loves Burlington City Hall Park, but walking through it on my way to work always lifts my spirits. Early on weekday mornings, it feels like an oasis in the middle of the city.

That aura was amplified this morning by the presence of a series of elaborate ice sculptures perched around the lip of the park's water fountain. Seven Days Digital Media Manager Tyler Machado had Instagrammed a photo of them last night and asked if anyone knew anything about them. I didn't.

This morning, three guys were hanging out around one of the benches nearby, so I asked them about it. Indeed, two of them — Gregg Ross and Chris Wright — told me they'd built the impromptu art installation yesterday on a whim, after seeing a jagged piece of ice in the fountain. They kept it up all day, until they had a couple dozen ice sculptures, some big, some small, some incorporating other natural materials such as fallen leaves and pine needles.

I shot this video of Ross and Wright explaining their installation. After I turned off the camera, a guy walked up to them to say how much he enjoyed it. The pair told me they'd gotten comments like that all day yesterday.

After I got into work, I called the Burlington City Arts Center, the back of which faces the installation, to see if they knew anything about it. Gallery assistant Katie Beynnon said the BCA staff had seen the sculptures, but none of them knew who had made them. Someone from the Church Street Marketplace, perhaps?

Nope — just two guys who hang out in the park, who were inspired by the winter landscape to transform it in this delightful way. Ross said he's unemployed and had the time. Wright said he was working on it during downtime from his job at Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

"It's a great cure for seasonal affective disorder," quipped Ross. They said they'd be working on it again today. I wonder if it's still