YouSnow pt. 1

March 7, 2011

John Riepenhoff, the organizer of the YouSnow snow sculpture competition that took place during the Winter Carnival, began by inviting several solo artists and artist teams to participate. The rules were simple: you needed to work with the snow in whatever condition we found it on Saturday morning (it snowed a bit overnight, and there was additional snow in the afternoon); you could bring in any simple, non-power tools (we saw a variety of shovels, buckets and plastic containers) and biodegradable materials (a loaf of bread for Sara Caron’s project, a load of edibles for the Snownuts). Artists could choose to involve the public or work on their own.

Nine projects took shape across the Lynden Gardens that day. Here’s an introduction (starting counterclockwise from the house).


The 62nd Dimension, in the form of Cody Frei, set up a table near Tony Smith’s Wandering Rocks around midday where he made snownuts (yum!) that spectators could embellish with a cornucopia of toppings and colorings. Here, he thinks about it with Sara Caron. She’s thinking about her project, which involved connecting via cellphone with a friend in Madison and accompanying her, here at Lynden, as she walked from her car to the Capitol (dropping breadcrumbs as she walked).


Amanda Tollefson took to the branches of a large tree, a watcher in nature, and conversed with those who noticed her above the path. A little further along, Katie Kraft experimented with a number of containers before finding that a beach pail worked best to mold the snow into “beads” that she then shaped into a giant bracelet. Visitors stopped by to form beads or sprinkle them with coloring.


Colin Matthes and Santiago Cucullu set to work on what would become a formidable wall (still standing more than a week later!).


Roy Staab commandeered a crew including Lynne Shumow, Bill Zuback, John Losciuto and Fred Dintenfass to help realize his vision on the lake right by the bridge.


Richard Galling worked solo between the trees at the far end of the bridge. Like many of the artists, he had experimented with the snow around his house the day before the carnival, only to find that the snow at Lynden was a lot less cooperative. Here, he resorts to plan B, which involved piling up all the snow in his area in the center.


KT Hancock, Sam Scheller and Tina Graziano all sculpture students at UWM, chose a site way down in the southeast corner of the grounds where the split trunk of a tree formed an inviting “V” that they began to fill with snow.


Will, Mia and Jade Pergl prepared for YouSnow by making their own tool and hauling it up to the garden. Choosing a site at the edge of the parking lot, they used the wooden pattern to stamp a path in the snow.

For a very comprehensive collection of photos from the Winter Carnival, visit us on flickr.

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