About 20 unique shining ice sculptures are now gracing the lawn near the Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Sumy. Their creators include not only local sculptors, but also artists from other regions of Ukraine, and both professionals and amateurs participated. Using this unusual natural material, the artists represented various images in sparkling forms. An Easter Pysanka, A Flower, A Motorbike, Kapitoshka, and A Chess Piece will be there for all to see for a long time to come. Ihor Sokur, a local resident, carved from ice a scale model of the church, while youths from the local branch of the Plast National Scout Organization of Ukraine carved a cross and a mace, symbolizing the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.
The massive sculptural group The Annunciation at the lawn’s center impresses everybody with its magnificent statue of the Virgin Mary, flanked by Saint Joseph and the Archangel Gabriel, bowing to her respectfully. The composition’s author is Oleksandr Luzan of Kyiv, who is participating in the Sumy exhibition of ice sculptures for the second consecutive year and is seen as the spiritual inspiration behind the event. Children enjoy the slide, decorated with carvings and illuminated by the organizers, allowing it to glow as a fairy-tale castle in the evening darkness. It was built of ice by the Luhansk-based architect Ihor Nianko.
“The participants used in their works 10 tons of ice blocks, cut out of the Psel River,” says Vadym Dubodielov, the organizer. “They worked on the sculptures for two weeks, and anybody could try their hand, as professionals held workshops for amateurs. It is expected that the exhibition will last until February 17. We have already held the official opening ceremony, but the creative process continues, and new people willing to experiment with ice are coming forward every day.”