Driggs set to embrace snow art
DRIGGS, Idaho (KIFI) - Monday, Jan. 16 marks the start of the 11th annual Driggs Snowscapes. Sculptors will range from professionals from Idaho, Washington and Wyoming to amateurs from schools in the area.
Monday through Friday, Jan. 20 teams will be making their sculptors from the snow and ice.
The main event will be Saturday, Jan. 21 as it all will wrap up with a block party celebrating the hard work of the artists and the winter fun to be had. The sculptors can be found along Driggs' Main Street starting at 60 South Main Street.
More than nine sculpting teams are set to participate in carving more than 30 tons of snow and ice. One of the sculptors Cody Perkins says each sculptor will be using similar tools for their work.
"It starts into mending plates that you would use for framing your fencing tile scrapers, just whatever you just make your own tools, which is also the unique thing that all these artists do. They'll make their own hand shovels and their own blades that they've cut to sharpen down. So it gets very creative in that way."
He says working with the powdery medium of snow is unique and rewarding.
"You work real hard throughout the week. Once the moment comes in, you can wipe your hands away. That's one of the best moments where you get to just stand back and listen to everyone's oohs and ahs. But yes, nobody can own it, It's not a piece of marble. Anything can happen from that point forward. So it's a temporary medium."
Perkins also adds all of the sculpting teams are looking forward to the week of carving.
"This is an event you wait for all year. It's one of those times where, again, the community comes out. You get to meet really fun, like minded artists and you know, on top of that, you get to see people. The young and young at heart just grow when they see something that's made from snow, turned into a sculpture that, it's hard to imagine what other artists imaginations built."
Perkins and the artists aren't the only ones who are looking forward to the weeks efforts.
"It energizes the community and the region. It's something to look forward to. It gets people out and about in the winter months. I think it's important for people, you know, to get out in the darkest months of the year. And that's definitely one reason to keep spirits up," said Fallon Ryan, the Development and Community engagement manager for the Downtown Driggs Association.
Ryan adds, that there will be opportunities for schools to get involved as well. "We are going to have a version of Snow NOLs instructors do a snow science and the impact on the ecosystem."
Ryan says the event has a bright effect on the city through out the week of the 16th.
"This is really a gem in our community, really highlights our arts and culture as a Main Street America organization. Only one in four cities in the entire state of Idaho have a Main Street America accreditation, the nonprofit partnership we share with our City of Driggs. And we heavily take care of the promotion side of that with our over 20 arts and culture programs per year, and it lights up our downtown town in the darkest months of the year."
Executive Director of the Downtown Driggs Association Lisa Simmons says the event is a unique experience to those that come and see it.
"Snowscapes, not only brings joy and, you know, it allows our community to experience a sense of awe and community connections and it's all free so people can come throughout the week and experience."
Simmons adds they anticipate that over 2,000 people will see the sculptures take their final shape. leaving a lasting effect beyond the sculptures.
"These sculptures take form and thousands of people come from all over the region to see this competition. And we had 2000 people alone on voting day last year come. And so that really infuses our community with economic vitality."
Sculptors will have the week to design and carve their work, with the final judging taking place Saturday from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Simmons says they will keep the sculptures up for as long as they can once the competition ends.
For more information you can visit the website here.