Snow as a Medium for Public Art
Although water is a substance found almost everywhere on Earth, snow, its frozen equivalent, is not. Those of us who live or have lived where snow makes its presence felt every winter, have all created public art with this medium at some point during our lives: snow people of all sizes and shapes, snow castles, snow totems, snow forts and other more elaborate snow carvings. A number of contemporary artists use snow to express their awe of nature, the vastness of a pristine, snow-covered landscape or simply the intrinsic beauty of the material. French artist, Simon Beck, fabricates enormous, complex patterns in the snow by stomping in snow shoes over his ‘canvas.’
The Snow Wave
On February 8 and 9, 2013, Blizzard Charlotte, a storm of historic proportions, dumped almost three feet of snow in my figurative and literal backyard. Using the white material as a ‘canvas’ of our own, Elena and I created a Wave installation in the snow. All of the pieces that have been created to date by visitors at Wave sites, minus the ones currently hanging at the Gaffney Elementary School in New Britain, CT, went into the sculpture that cascaded down the side of the house, meandered into and over the brook and flowed around the garden plantings. We were exhausted from tromping through knee-deep snow for three hours, but gratified by the results.