Vikings participate in 32nd Annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition

Lauren Bear, Editor-In-Chief

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  During January 18-20, while most students were taking notes in class, four sculptors from GHS participated in the 32nd Annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition. Emerson Goza, Angela Soto, Olivia VanBroklin, and Aleena Patrick, with the help of advisor Ms.Bethany Austin, put in over thirty hours of sculpting in 3 days.

 “We were there all day Thursday, Friday, and half day on Saturday,” said Angela Soto, senior and 2nd year ice sculpting participant.

  The design titled “Oh, ho-ho-no!” depicted Santa Claus stuck in a chimney with the top half of his body sticking out the top. The team competed against 16 other local high schools.

     “Our team of four was chosen from Ms. Austin’s 2nd through 4th year art classes,” said Soto. “The teacher chose me to be on the team for the first time my junior year when I was in my second year of 3D sculpting. We had done a similar project of subtractive and additive artwork which helped me prepare.”

  The event brought in over 15,000 spectators, which helped motivate the sculptors throughout the process.

  “The motivation level is helped out by the fact that so many cars drive by and so many families walk through to look at the sculptures…”, said Ms. Austin, art teacher and advisor. “The students love getting compliments from the community members. There were a ton of little kids that loved our sculpture since it was of Santa Claus.”

  The weekend’s weather reached into the mid 40’s, warmer than expected. The snow was susceptible to melting and freezing into ice.

  “It didn’t end up getting too warm until Saturday – the day we were finishing up and the judging was taking place,” said Ms.Austin.  “That was definitely a challenge, but by that point there wasn’t much we could do but just hope our sculpture didn’t melt before the judging.  All three days were extremely sunny however so even when the temperatures were below freezing the sun was a problem.”

 After hours of hard work and dedication the team finally completed their icey snow sculpture in time.

  “The team is totally worn out from dealing with all the ice. Our entire sport was covered in a…mound of snow,” said Ms. Austin. “So all three days the students were shoveling and trying to pick ax the ice to no avail. Unfortunately, all that time trying to clear the ground took some time away from working on the sculpture; but the students still managed to finish on time.”

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