A message from Alex Eninsche
(past Art Shanty Artist & Volunteer, current Producer)

Hello Art Shanty kinfolk! 

I love the winters here. Our winters are the kind that literature gets written about – ones with plenty of snow for sledding, ice for skating, with all the bonfires and hot saunas to warm yourself back up. It only took this gal from the other side of the Midwest one winter in Minneapolis to become a convert. What I love most about Minnesotan winters is how much everyone throws their whole selves into it. We find reasons to be outside in the cold, we know the importance of layers, we’re prepared with a shovel in our car should we see someone stuck. The Art Shanty Projects only exists because of this hardy, truly Minnesotan, spirit.

The most beautiful thing about the Art Shanty Projects is that on paper it sounds absurd. It’s an affront to nature, a gleeful guffaw at the season that allows it. A colorful,  whimsical village that sits on the ice of a frozen lake for a month? And comes back year to year all new and transformed each time? It’s a delirium that through the hard work of many people we make reality. 

My first time attending the festival was as a shanty artist. Months earlier, I had gotten matched with a team of artists who had ambitious plans for a fanciful, two story bed of slumber party but minimal structural knowledge. Back in 2015, I was an architecture student looking for a big project, so this call was a dream come true. I fell in love with the Art Shanty Projects that year. Ever since I have been involved in some way – as an artist, a juror, a current staff member and many times as a volunteer.

I love being part of the festival as a volunteer. It feels so great to be able to drop-in and become part of the community bringing this project to life. Doing service to make art happen in our most extreme season is that Minnesotan spirit I have fallen in love with. Join our team as a volunteer, we’d love to have you!

Alex Eninsche

A person wearing a snowsuit and red sash poses while pushing a kicksled.

Alex in two different volunteer roles during past programs: pushing kicksleds and chopping firewood for the artist warming house! We have volunteer roles for all personalities! Photos courtesy ASP staff.