There hasn’t much snow in Chicago so far this winter, but it’s a different story on Navy Pier. The annual Snow Days Chicago Festival will be held as scheduled on January 25–27, thanks to snowmaking equipment that is now running 24 hours a day. Second-year InterArts MFA
Brent Koehn is a member of this year’s Snow Sculpture Demonstration Team. He’s part of a team of local and international artists who will be working together during the festival to create a giant sculpture in snow. Starting with a solid block, the artists work in a reductive process to create a piece, referencing an original sketch and small preliminary sculpture models. The unusual scale and materials require large and specialized tools, so Koehn and the other team members (fellow InterArts MFA Kathi Beste, sculptor Audry Cramblit, Team Co-captain Jyl Bonaguro, and Team Captain and Palette + Chisel faculty member James Hajicek) have devised their own to bring to Navy Pier, as well as borrowing some from the event’s founder, Fran Volz. Volz has created snow sculptures all around the midwest for years, and decided to start this event in the city a few years ago under his nonprofit umbrella Snow Visions, because he wanted “all of Chicagoland to enjoy the fun!”
In addition to the demonstration team, there are 15 teams from the U.S. and around the world including Spain, Mexico, Czech Republic, Russia, and Germany. These teams will be competing for prizes in a timed event, working only on Saturday, January 26 from 11:00–4:00 p.m. At the close of the competition, Snow Days Chicago visitors will vote to select the winner of the People’s Choice Award.
Koehn met the other team members last week, and says “I’m extremely excited about this project. I hope we have some snow to practice with before the big event, but right now it looks like our luck is with the temperature, and not the precipitation.”
For more information on Chicago’s Snow Days, click here.