Make Frisco arts collective debuts ‘Frozen Frisco’ ice installations

Todd Powell and Diane Harty work on an ice installation at Third Avenue and Main Street in Frisco on Wednesday, Jan. 29, part of the “Frozen Frisco” installation that coincides with Eat, Ski and Be Merry on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Liz Copan /

FRISCO — Art, the elements and the outdoors come together for a temporary exhibit Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Frisco Nordic Center. Titled “Frozen Frisco,” it is the first event hosted by Make Frisco, a new group of artists focused on implementing more public art throughout the town.

The group and event started thanks to $25,000 in seed money from town government, spearheaded by Councilor Melissa Sherburne.

“It’s a personal interest of mine,” Sherburne said. “I’m not by any means a professional artist. I enjoy the art and really value artists. I’m a professional community planner and developer. I’ve worked in mountain communities all over the West, and I’ve really seen how art elevates.”

Sherburne saw that art galleries and exhibit space have been disappearing from the town and that Frisco lacks the same vibrancy in the arts as places such as Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Aspen and Salida. She hopes Make Frisco will maintain the community’s character, celebrate the town’s uniqueness and bring people together.

“Members of the group have said it’s much more than arts; it’s about providing an outlet for people to really feel connected to one another beyond just going to bars,” Sherburne said. “We’re limited in what we can do, especially young people, in our town at night in the wintertime. Art provides a really healthy, wonderful outlet.”

The diverse group of more than 15 people — which contains painters, a photographer, a milliner, a coffee roaster, a landscape architect, musicians, a guitar maker, a carpenter, sculptors and illustrators from Frisco — has been meeting since November. The artists joined mainly by word of mouth, with the group growing bit by bit each meeting. Sherburne said the roster isn’t set in stone and that Make is open to all artists in the Frisco community.

Much of the collective’s roots can be traced back to the Red Crayon Studio. The studio was owned by Tim Adrian, painter and owner of Rocky Mountain Coffee Roasters, and was located behind Greco’s Pastaria. It was a gathering space in the early 2000s that had regular open mics and collaborations of various kinds. 

“We would get 60 people to each one of those events once a month,” said Andy Held, a carpenter who has left his mark on the gazebo in the Frisco Historic Park and fixtures in establishments like Fifth Avenue Grille, Frisco Prime and the Coffee Roasters. “It was all local people who would come out of the woodwork that you would never expect, incredible minds out here in this area. That solidified the group as a thing.”

If You Go

“Frozen Frisco”
When: 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1
Where: Outside the Frisco Nordic Center, 616 Recreation Way, Frisco
Cost: Free

Eat, Ski and Be Merry
When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, with the VIP reception beginning at 5
Where: Frisco Nordic Center, 616 Recreation Way, Frisco
Cost: $50 for adults, $16.50 for kids 12 and younger, $121 for a family pack and $65 for a VIP ticket. Visit to purchase.

Yet eventually the artists each took their separate career paths, such as Held now working in outdoor gear sales, but the communal desire was still there.

Make therefore is a spiritual successor of sorts, now with the support of the town. It hopes to resurrect the Red Crayon’s Art Bike event, where creative minds come together to create wacky and wild bicycles and ride them throughout town. Other community art projects include having a float at the Fourth of July parade and Sail Frisco — an opportunity to tap into the marina-side of the town’s identity with discarded sails. The goal is to have about four events a year, one per season, but there could be more or less. In the future, Make might eventually commission and purchase art, as well.

“It will help create the community that we need, that we are, that we can make again,” Held said.

For now though, Make is focused on Saturday’s exhibit and reception. The group isn’t necessarily constructing ice sculptures, but they’re using ice as a medium. For instance, graphic and interior designers Patti and Jamie Callahan are contributing their skills to a frozen “living room” and making an illuminated piece based on geometric Islamic patterns.

In addition to working on the living room, Held is creating a model wave machine seen in a physics classroom with ice swinging back and forth like pendulums.

“It’s a medium that’s uniquely Frisco and artists of all shapes and sizes can participate and create something cool,” Sherburne said.

Given the nature of ice, the exhibit won’t last more than a day. However, that impermanence excites Adrian, who is freezing items like CDs and flowers.

Diane Harty and Patti Callahan work on an ice installation at the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street in Frisco on Wednesday, Jan. 29, part of the “Frozen Frisco” installation that coincides with Eat, Ski and Be Merry on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Liz Copan /

“We’ll do it, and it’ll live on in people’s memories,” said Adrian, one of the minds behind the Make Frisco name and the idea to use ice. “So we’re trying to create some sort of short-term experience for visual stimulation.”

Photographer Todd Powell, who has lived in Frisco and taken pictures in the High Country since the ’80s, is excited to branch out and work with the ice. Rather than take a photo of a natural landscape, he’s constructing one by freezing twigs and leaves.

“I want it to be thin and transparent, so you see through it. And ideally the light will shine through it, too,” Powell said.

Like the other artists, painter Cordell Crosby hasn’t worked with ice before. But he also is intrigued by the possibilities.

“All we’re bringing to the table is confidence in unknown territory,” Crosby said. “That’s like what I learned in school. Don’t panic. Do what you do and make sure you have a skillset to work with and go from there.”

Artists work on an ice installation at Third Avenue and Main Street in Frisco on Wednesday, Jan. 29. The work is part of the “Frozen Frisco” installation that coincides with Eat, Ski and Be Merry on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Liz Copan /

While the unveiling isn’t until the afternoon, the public is invited to watch the artists install their pieces and create spontaneous works around the site throughout the day. There also will be food and beverages along with an interactive kids area at the reception — be sure to bring extra gloves when working with the cold, wet ice. To get a sense of the art, visit the clock tower in front of the Frisco Information Center at Third Avenue and Main Street for a teaser display.

Eat, Ski and Be Merry

“Frozen Frisco” is only the beginning of Saturday’s entertainment at the Frisco Nordic Center. After checking out the art, the VIP reception for the Summit Nordic Ski Club’s Eat, Ski and Be Merry begins at 5 p.m. Those who purchase the VIP ticket can enjoy drinks and snacks an hour before the general public starts the 2K loop on skis and snowshoes that features more food and beverages, bonfires and luminaries.

Don’t stay out too long because the candle lit trails and bonfires will close at 9. Once the loop is completed, head back to the Frisco Adventure Park Day Lodge, which will be open from 7-10 for a party with soup, drinks, live music and a silent auction. 

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