2024 Ice Sculpture Show
Times Square Arts joined forces with Governors Island Arts to co-present the third annual Governors Island Ice Sculpture Show, which took place on Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 12 to 5pm. Out of ten finalists, a panel of judges chose Bronx-based artist Lovie Pignata’s Smitten sculpture as the champion of the show. The winning sculpture depicts two cozy mittens with knit details touching to form a heart, referencing the beginning stages of love in the cold winter season.
A larger-scale version of the winning sculpture was carved and installed by Okamoto Studio in Times Square for the district’s annual Valentine’s Day events, where New Yorkers and visitors alike celebrated love through surprise proposals, weddings, and a vow renewal ceremony on the Square’s iconic Red Steps. The sculpture was on view on Duffy Square from Wednesday, February 14 until it melted.
This year’s jury panel that selected the winners included creative agent at large and cast member of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City Jenna Lyons, writer and editor Miya Lee, NYC Council Member representing 26th District of Bedford Stuyvesant and North Crown Heights Chi Ossé, and Hollis Kam, Senior Vice President of People and Culture at Times Square Alliance and decade-long ordained wedding officiant for Love in Times Square.
2024 Ice Sculpture Show Finalists:
Art Domantay and Roberto Flores: Move Me, Rock Me Until I Break/My Movement, My Heart
Domantay is known for his fabrication work on ambitious public art projects. In his collaboration with Flores, they propose a multi-dimensional, kinetic heart sculpture activated by human touch.
Azikiwe Mohammed: King Kong
As a native New Yorker, Mohammed plans to depict the notorious King Kong, paying homage to the ape’s tale as an immigrant and his legendary yet complicated love story with New York City.
Katerina Sokolovskaya: The Answer in the Heart
For her ethereal concept, hands and legs emerge from a cloud as two hidden people embrace within it. Sokolovskaya aims to take an abstract and escapist approach to the theme of love.
Lloyd Foster: Angel
Foster frequently features angels in his work, and plans to use this motif as a symbol of love for his art piece. Hearts will replace the angel’s wings for his “Love Angels” sculpture.
Zeelie Brown: Soul
Brown poses a sculpture that reflects her focus on Black love, soul, and New York City’s natural and architectural landscapes. The piece aims to instill passersby with a sense of freedom, love, and connection to nature and place.
Lovie Pignata: Smitten
Pignata depicts two cozy mittens with knit details touching to form a heart, referencing the beginning stages of love in the wintry months.
Josef Pinlac: Heart Hands
Two hands conjoin to form a heart for Pinlac’s work, in which visitors have the opportunity to step inside the frame for a special moment of love. Pinlac is a member of Con Artist Collective in the Lower East Side.
Parastoo Ahovan: The Life Tree
Ahovan’s design represents a tree in an abstract form to suggest the interconnectedness of life and love. Each branch and leaf is symbolic of growth and life's meandering journey, while the roots delve into the rich soil of tradition and resilience.
Akira Yoshimura: Hearts of NYC
Yoshimura demonstrates his love for New York City, where he met his wife and friends, with an ode in the shape of the King and Queen of Hearts — the Queen’s card depicting the Statue of Liberty and the King’s card donning a quintessential NYC street vending cart.
Sally Twin: The Game of Love
Twin’s work is a dynamic take on love and the game of shuffleboard, allowing visitors to physically interact with the sculpture’s playable pieces for an immersive experience.
The ten finalists were paired with a professional ice carver from Okamoto Studio, where sculptures were carved in a free public event on Governors Island on Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 12pm to 5pm. Visitors were invited to witness this real-time ice carving from 12pm to 2 pm, vote on their favorite sculpture for the “People’s Choice Award” from 2pm to 2:30 pm, and enjoy an awards ceremony and reception from 2:30pm to 5pm. This year’s Ice Sculpture show took place in historic Colonels Row and also featured the island’s lawn games, fire pits, and art exhibitions, along with food and drink by year-round Governors Island vendor Makina Café and select additional food trucks.
Support for the 2024 Ice Sculpture Show is provided in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Photos by Liz Ligon.