Coming upon an eight foot by eight foot by eight foot block of compacted snow sounds like most Minnesotans’ shoveling nightmare. But for Jim Krueger, it’s his version of an artist’s blank canvas.
The building and grounds supervisor at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve recently tackled that snow block for the eleventh-consecutive year, crafting his way to success in the snow sculpting competition at the St. Paul Winter Carnival.
“You start with this block of packed snow and carve your design using only hand tools,” says Krueger. “There are no power tools allowed.”
Krueger, along with two teammates, used their snow-crafting capabilities to rake in a number of awards this year including the Artist’s Choice, People’s Choice and overall third place for their chicken sculpture. For Krueger, the frozen birds had a personal resonance and a design tactic that he tends to stick to.
“This year our inspiration came from my teammate Jared’s children,” Krueger says. “They are in 4-H and raise chickens. We always try to keep it simple and a chicken seemed pretty simple to us.” - Lance Janssen