Check back during sculpting — Jan. 26-30, 2016 — for photo and video updates. Visit SculptSnow.com for detailed schedule and event information.

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2016 Winners

Team USA-Vermont won Gold in the 26th annual International Snow Sculpture Championships with “Rhonda and Her Recycling Robo-Octopus,” a piece that depicted 14-year-old science whiz Rhonda riding inside her invention – the Robo-Octopus – which helps clean the ocean floor. Judges appreciated the piece’s achievements both technically and conceptually, and the appeal for audiences on multiple levels.

  • Team Switzerland won Silver with “Converse.” The sculpture depicted two structures, almost identical, yet converse.
  • Team USA-Loveland won Bronze with “Bolting from Extinction,” a piece rooted in the idea that nature does not know extinction because it only knows transformation.
  • Team USA-Wisconsin won Artists’ Choice with “Dia de los Muertos,” which represented an altar seen during the Mexican holiday.
  • Team USA-Breckenridge won People’s Choice with “The Widow Maker”
  • Team Mongolia-Batmunkh won Kids’ Choice with “Lion and Butterfly”
  • Beginning Monday, Feb. 1, fans can vote for Social Media Fan Favorite on Facebook.com/GoBreck

Jenn Cram, judge coordinator and director of public programs and engagement for Breckenridge Creative Arts commented on behalf of the judging panel: “Vermont’s sculpture is visually delightful, it appeals to the child in all of us while addressing a serious global issue. The piece combined both technical risk and a high level of detail. It is superbly executed in 360 degrees.”

Viewing week — through Sunday, Feb. 7

2/1/16 — The snow keeps coming! Of course this has created incredible ski conditions, but due to the new snow (more than a foot in two days!) and warm temperatures on Saturday, the snow sculptures are not in pristine shape. Fourteen of 16 are still standing; however, most have deteriorated. It’s a reminder of the temporary nature of the artform and a small example of the challenges with which these artists are faced. Visit Facebook.com/GoBreck to see all the completed pieces and cast your vote for Social Media Fan Favorite. Voting ends Feb. 7.

Snow Sculpture Day 5 — Saturday, Jan. 30

Part 2 (Grand Illumination)

The snow was dumping as the light show began on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Snow fell through the night (11 inches was reported at the ski area the following morning) and spectators huddled around the Riverwalk Center to catch finished pieces illuminated in shades of blue, pink, purple and more.

Part 1 (Finished pieces)

Artists battled a mix of conditions – sunshine, varied temperatures and wind – which took their toll this morning. Several pieces partially collapsed shortly after the sculpting deadline of 10:00 a.m. MST on Saturday, Jan. 30. It was a reminder of the temporary nature of the medium and just how willing teams are to push the limits of snow. Judges recognized both German teams (whose pieces fell prior to the deadline) for their willingness to take risks. “We know that they are always contenders for this event,” said Jenn Cram, judge coordinator and director of public programs and engagement for Breckenridge Creative Arts, on behalf of the judging panel.

Snow Sculpture Day 4 — Friday, Jan. 29

Part 2 (evening)

On Friday, artists worked around the clock to crank out details and fine tune their pieces. As temperatures dropped, the snow hardened into perfect conditions. The combination of machine-made snow (by Breckenridge Ski Resort), high-quality construction of the starting blocks (thanks to all our volunteer snow stompers!) and Breckenridge’s dry mountain climate makes for an ideal medium where artists can test their creativity and even gravity. Many sculptures were near finish as the night turned to day.

 

 

Part 1 (morning)

Sculptors awoke to a cold and windy morning. The event site brought a few surprises today — wind took down much of the scaffolding on which the sculptors work, but thankfully none of the pieces were damaged. The Breckenridge Tourism Office events team worked quickly to get the site back to normal and the camaraderie of the Breckenridge event came through. Teams worked together to help rebuild each others’ scaffolding, and all the teams were back to work in no time. Snow eventually gave way to sun and warmer temperatures. Tonight teams will work around the clock as they finalize their pieces for judging at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. Photos by Carl Scofield

Snow Sculpture Day 3 — Thursday, Jan. 28

Sculptures are taking shape! As more snow is sawed and chipped from each piece, the sculptures are looking more and more like the concept sketches printed at the base of each team’s work area. Artists worked under blue skies and bright sun — a gorgeous day for visitors that surely posed challenges to the sculptors. Expect to see lots of action and detail work on Friday night, when the artists work around the clock until judging at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. Photos by Carl Scofield

Snow Sculpture Day 2 — Wednesday, Jan. 27

Today, the sun shades rose and teams got down to business. In our Day 2 video, Team Canada (Yukon)’s captain Donald Watt shows off some of their homemade snow sculpting tools. Photos by Jessie Unruh

 

Snow Sculpture Day 1 — Tuesday, Jan. 26

At 11:00 a.m. teams from Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, Mongolia, Switzerland, USA and Ukraine stood ready in Breckenridge, Colo. with sharpened snow carving tools. A brief speech and small cannon marked the official start to the 2016 International Snow Sculpture Championships, but artists weren’t running. After all, they’ve got 65 hours across the next five days to complete their pieces. Photos by Carl Scofield

 

For detailed event information, including a detailed schedule, program guide and more visit SculptSnow.com.

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