You’ve got to admire the pluck of Roger Hanson of Big Lake, the “ice man” who could’ve packed it in when his project to build one of his ice towers on Barkers Island in Superior collapsed in mid-February from the melting conditions in January– while a New York Times reporter looked on and documented the moment, no less.
He didn’t give up. And he ended up with this:
He writes on his Facebook page:
This Ice Project has now reached its maximum size Height: 50’6” Width: 49’ Weight: 5 million pounds.
My adventure here is now hastily coming to an end. Soon this piece of art will be gone forever. The bright side is that in as little as eight months I will be getting a brand new canvas.
I am now concentrating on its destruction. This current structure will still stay standing through this weekend. After this Sunday March 8, I can’t promise anything. I am obligated (by contract) to safely dismantle the sculpture by March 15th.
The city paid Hanson to bring his ice-tower-making talent to the city in hope of creating an installation that would bring tourists to the area. And, indeed, Hanson’s just-keep-swimming attitude resulted in some light shows over the last couple of weeks.
But rather than an art installation, the city got performance art, instead — a rootin’ tootin’ Upper Midwesterner on display who didn’t let the wrath of winter get him down.