Artists sculpt in fleeting medium

Michael Stoddart begins to sculpt an ice eagle on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 in the south campus courtyard at UK in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Adam Pennavaria | Staff

By Colleen Kochensparger | @KyKernel

news@kykernel.com

Just in time for another blast of January chill, chain saw art group Lexington Ice Sculptures created a throne of ice in the South Campus Courtyard Thursday.

“It’s unique and incredible,” electrical engineering sophomore Eric O’Nan said. “It’s nothing that I could do so I appreciate it a lot, but I think it’s cool that they’re doing it down here on South Campus where all the students are.”

The Fear No Ice event was part of the Student Activities Board’s series Art Matters, which is run by the cultural arts division of SAB.

“You think you’re not going to see art on the way to class,” SAB Director of Cultural Arts Brittney Woodrum said. Art Matters seeks to change that.

The throne, which is wider than a park bench, will remain on campus for students to sit on and take pictures with until weather conditions make it impossible.

The transitory nature of the art makes it all the more interesting, mechanical engineering sophomore Brennen Mehl said.

“Especially because this isn’t something you see often, it’s great that it’s right here for people to take pictures with and interact with,” Mehl said.

Students posed with the throne throughout the day and tweeted their pictures to @UKSAB in an attempt to win free tickets to an upcoming SAB event featuring Joel McHale.

Along with the throne, which was decorated with swirls, “bricks” and textures, the UK logo, the text “Art Matters” and “@UKSAB,” the sculptors placed two miniature UK-themed sculptures outside of the Student Center featuring the UK logo and a wildcat.

The group also carved a three-dimensional eagle sculpture behind the throne in the courtyard.

“We have many different tools with different bits for all the different textures,” sculptor Matthew Stoddart said.

Matthew, a high school sophomore, is the son of Michael Stoddart. The two have competed in ice sculpting competitions, together and solo, for years, bringing home multiple gold, silver and bronze medals. They have created custom ice sculptures for events such as the Henry Clay High School seniors’ winter formal, weddings and Ronald McDonald charitable events.

“To Michael, it’s a job, but for me, it’s a hobby,” Matthew Stoddart said.

Along with the Fear No Ice event and an event involving fan animation, the Art Matters series will include an upcoming Young Artists exhibit, which is accepting student portfolio submissions. Applications can be found at uksab.org and are due March 1.

Those artists selected for the exhibit will have their work featured in the Rasdall Gallery, and the top two artists will get an amateur artist fee of $250, Woodrum said.

“The series’ main goal is to promote the importance of art in our lives,” said Damir Kocer, assistant director for cultural arts. “And to experience new and creative ways in which people can express themselves.”