The interactive public art event “Winter is Alive! A cooler world carnival” opens this weekend in Madison. This event focuses on climate change and uses art as a catalyst for environmental change.

Featuring outdoor sculptures and performance art events, this festival turns the frozen lakes of Madison into a gallery for art installations and community dialogue. Events include outdoor art installations, video projections at the Garver Feed Mill, live-streamed performance art events and community participation through virtual gatherings and forums.

Public art is installed all over Madison featuring work from students, faculty and community members. Printmaking MFA candidate Derick Whycherly’s flowing fabric installation “Renewal Without End” is installed in the UW Arboretum, Sculpture Faculty Gail Simpson and Aris Georgiades of Actual Size Artworks’ “Sad Yeti” sits slumped over in the snow at Law Park, and Madison community member Carlee Latimer’s bright yellow “Staple Board” can be seen on the sidewalk at James Madison Park.

“The goal of Winter is Alive! is to create venues for personal reflection, environmental dialogue and provocative inspiration,” Artist and Artistic Director Tamsie Ringler said.

Tamsie’s sculpture “North Pole Project” is installed on Lake Mendota and can be seen from the Terrace at Memorial Union.

The white-painted steel structure resembles an oil rig or industrial farm equipment and almost fades into the background of the snow-covered lake. Based on the steel outline of a deepwater floating platform, this piece is illuminated with plastic holiday lights, inviting viewers to consider the relationship between our lifestyle and climate change.

“The Dying Iceberg” is a large-scale sculpture installed on Lake Wingra using art to express the relationship between people and nature. This piece was designed by Latvian artist Ojārs Feldbergs and was constructed (and installed in sub-zero temperatures) by UW Sculpture graduate students Ian Van D. and Brittany Weekley.