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Snow Sculptures Beautify Driggs

The front lawn of the Driggs City Center has transformed into an art gallery this week with almost a dozen snow sculptures.

From Gumby to dragons, the giant snow sculptures look like they were carved by professionals, but most of the artists are local first-time sculptors, with many learning as they go.

“We were like, ‘What have we gotten into?’ It’s challenging,” sculptor Deirdre OConnell said.

“It’s a humbling experience,” OConnell’s team member Eva Dahlgren said.

“The medium is a little different because it is ever-changing., It melts, it gets hard, it gets soft,” sculptor Josh Knaggs said.

Pete Popham and his coworkers at Targhee are sculpting a lift chair with two skiers.

Popham has carved snow sculptors at the resort in the past but this year he said the snow is a little different.

“The snow this year is wetter or icier as opposed to flaky,” Popham said.

“Sometimes it’s sandy and some parts are rock-hard chucks of ice,” Dahlgren said.

But whether the snow is wet or dry, it’s the tools that make the difference.

?We have every tool you could imagine,? Dahlgren said.

It takes an assortment of tools to put these snow sculptures together. Artists use small gardening tools, rakes, even a horse combs.

“If you look around and find the right tools you can make it a lot easier on yourself,” said international snow sculptor Lee Harris.

One of the other big challenges is the sun.

Harris, who came from Northern Idaho to assist first-time sculptors, said you just have to know how to use it to your advantage.

Two art teachers from Northern Idaho even came to Driggs to learn how they can incorporate snow sculpting into the classroom.

“It’s hands-on learning, It’s collaborative work,? Paul Bonnell said.

?It’s the whole community aspect and taking ownership of their work and a little bit of pride,” Josh Knaggs said.

The sculptures will be judged by a local panel. The first place winner will be awarded $1,000.

If you want to check it out, the Snow Fest is all weekend long in Driggs and at the Grand Targhee Resort.

Visit for a complete schedule.

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