Mother Nature Unkind to Festival Ice Sculpture; PMA Employees Not Surprised


Ice Sculpture Meets Warmish Winter Weather at PMA

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,070)

Late yesterday morning an ice sculpture kicking off the inaugural Portland on Ice Festival was installed in front of the Portland Museum of Art. Just twenty minutes later, a boy of about ten years old and his family were walking in the area. They came up to the three piece sculpture to get a closer look; before his father could stop him, the boy pushed one of the pieces, knocking it over onto the brick sidewalk.

Mike McKenzie, head of security for the Museum, said the father and son came into the Museum and took responsibility for the accident with the son apologizing. But much more damaging to the overall ice sculpture was the warm temperature. Just before closing time, a PMA employee went out front to check on several things. Boom. He heard the middle section hit the sidewalk. He turned and saw the sculpture lying on the sidewalk in many pieces; about five hours after it had been installed. The sculpture probably would have survived the boy’s enthusiasm, but not survive the 40 degree temperatures in Portland yesterday.

Chris Kelleher, on the security staff, said this afternoon said that no one was surprised that it didn’t last longer. “We were concerned about the warm weather for starters. And we were concerned about vandalism from some in the area at night.” Jeff Day, the sculpturer, said he would come over on Monday to pick up the pieces, but it’s hardly worth the trip Kelleher said. Day is from New Hampshire.

Please see the previous post, # 1,069, for more background information on the weeklong Festival hosted by the Portland Downtown District.