Valentine’s Day found NYC cold and snowy. It also marked the 35th anniversary of the Central Park Conservancy. I have attended the last two Ice Festivals, first at Belvedere Castle, and then at Bethesda Terrace. This year it took place in the Mall at the Naumburg Bandshell and once again showed off the talents of the Okamoto Studio. I arrived right at 3pm, but they had already started carving away as they had to be done by 5pm. This years centerpiece was a replica of the Romeo & Juliet statue found in front of the Delacorte Theater. Around the area were a few other ice sculptures for people to take pictures with, food to purchase, and free hand-warmers and roses (it was v-day after all). This year also included an interesting and educating item: part of the sculpture broke towards the end, so we were treated to seeing them fix it in front of our eyes.
My only critique of the event is that, in past years, you could walk around the carving sight and get different view points of the carving. This year, since they were inside the bandshell, you could only watch from one side, making it difficult to get unobstructed images of the sculpture (thank you camera phones and iPads).
The conservancy celebrates its 35th year in action.
A giant snowflake to take pictures with.
The rough shape is already carved out.
Discussing how to move forward.
Here comes the ice snow.
Lots of calculating.
What’s over here?
Greeting the crowd.
The crowd is growing in front of the bandstand.
Time for some holes.
It’s all in good fun.
Shooting some ice snow off the top and into the crowd.
From the back of the crowd, there is not much to see.
Consulting the schematics.
Further along (with negative space).
Detail work has begun.
Sometimes you need a stool because the sculpture is larger than you are.
Standing tall and above it all.
More detail is done. Notice that support connection holding up Juliet’s hair.
Praying they can fix it.
Once the support for the hair was removed, the hair promptly fell off and broke into several pieces.
Let’s see if we can fix this!
Inspecting the joint.
Starting to attach.
Using an adhesive spray to aid in bonding.
Please let this work.
So how did that feel? Having to fix something that broke?
After carving q&a.
Talking to the crowd.
The sculpture and the nice lighting set up above it.
The sculptors and their work.
The completed sculpture with lighting.
Next week: Downtown/Wall St in winter.