Icy artwork: snow and ice sculptures in Ischgl and Val Gardena

12/31/2013 - Selina Sauerland

This is one of the previous years’ sculptures. © TVB Paznaun-Ischgl

It is like a huge, skiable open-air gallery, located in the ski area if Ischgl in January 2014. From the 7th to the 10th of January 10 pairs of ice artists originating from Austria, Italy, Canada, UK and Switzerland will be presented with the challenging task of telling 50 years of ski list history in sculptures carved from ice and snow.

But let us go back to the beginning: in 1963 the first gondola was opened in Ischgl, the Silvretta cabin lift. This milestone goes back to the foundation of the “Silvrettaseilbahn AG” in 1961 and the following investments made by some pioneers wanting to promote the building of easy mountain transport. Today, Ischgl is one of the top ski regions worldwide. The 21st snow sculpture competition “Forms in White” shall pay a tribute to the past 50 years. What could be more fitting than to celebrate this event with an exhibition in exactly the place where everything once started: in the middle of the ski area? Which sculptures will be presented is still a secret. The most magnificent will be prized on the 10th of January.

The sculptures will be visible for some time longer though. Due to the great snow conditions until approx. the beginning of May, all winter sports fans can enjoy the art until such times as the sun will be strong enough to melt them…

Another one of previous years’ artwork. © TVB Paznaun-Ischgl

Icy art in Wolkenstein and St. Ulrich

Would you like to see some more of this fascinating type of art? In Val Gardena there will also be artists going about their craft this winter – replacing the common wood sculpturing for ice and snow. Val Gardena is known for its traditional wood carvings. In winter however, the artists like to be flexible about which materials they use. Until the 29th of December huge snow sculptures can be admired in Wolkenstein. This year the theme is “Walt Disney Figures in the mountains”. On this last weekend of the year the 6 most beautiful sculptures are prized. However the sculptures will remain a sight until well into the New Year…

In St. Ulrich however, there are 600 block of ice waiting to be carved and shaped by the students of the local art high school and craft workers college, put together to 5 massive sculptures and to be seen between the 13th and 17th of January. The open-air gallery will be free to visit until all sculptures have melted under the spring sun…

Ice sculpture in St. Ulrich. © Matthaeus Kostner

Culture and skiing – it can be combined so easily!

  • Tuesday, 31. December 2013
  • author: Selina Sauerland
  • category: Events
  • tag: Austria
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