This year, the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships hosted twelve international teams from various countries, including China, Denmark, Ecuador, India, South Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, Mongolia, and Germany, which had two teams participating. Representing the United States were Team Breckenridge and Team Wisconsin.
For snow enthusiasts and artists, it’s akin to a huge party. Imagine this: a group of imaginative people around the world arrive in this little mountain town. Their objective is to fashion enormous slabs of snow into incredible sculptures. It’s an intense art festival with a dash of adventure, not just any old competition. Think about yourself there for a moment. These are artists working in the Colorado weather, bundled up, chiseling, and carving away. It resembles a race against the elements and time. The stuff they made this year was incredible. We are discussing everything from these incredible shapes and lines to legendary creatures that seem to have stepped out of a storybook.
People on foot were enthralled. The carvers’ ability to blend fantastical elements—bear hugging a big tree and Einstein, for example—with incredibly realistic details made everything pop in a manner that’s difficult to explain. The sculptures’ ability to shift with the light makes them so wonderful. As a result, the snow appears to have varied hues and shadows throughout the day. After dark, the atmosphere changes completely. By nightfall, a few of the sculptures appear to have materialized. But the experience goes beyond simply admiring charming snow creations. The whole community participates in the antics, businesses and locals alike are celebrating art, resiliency, and community with a festive vibe.
It resembles a large family gathering with people from all around the world. Winning is cool now, but that’s not the main idea. It’s all about the process—the imagination, the laborious effort, and enduring the bitter cold to create something lovely. Not to mention how fleeting these works of art are. Like their history, as soon as the sun gets too warm. But there’s magic in that too. The experience of being there endures, whether you are carving or simply observing. It’s the kind of event that you anticipate each year. And when the sculptures disappear, the memories and anticipation for the competition the following year only strengthen. It goes well beyond just artists having fun in the snow.
Team Mexico won the gold medal at the 33rd Annual International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge with their sculpture “The Beggar,” illustrating a man in poverty surrounded by bitcoins. This artwork symbolizes the idea that without a compassionate heart, wealth is meaningless.
Team Mongolia won the silver medal with their sculpture “Mother Earth,” while Team Germany-Bavaria was awarded the bronze for their creation, “FLOAT.”
In the competition, both Teams, Mexico and Germany-Bavaria, were awarded the Lothar Luboschik Artist’s Choice award, a special recognition selected by the artists.