Snow sculpting team wins Fred Gardner Award


   This year, the Guilford Snow sculpting Team won the Fred Gardner Award for their sculpture No Porpoise in Wearing Pants. On the weekend of January 26 – 29, thirteen adult teams from around the state gathered at Sinnissippi Park to create snow sculptures, with eleven high school teams joining them for a separate competition.

   “It was nerve wracking at first since we were all beginners and didn’t know how to begin,” said Jasmine Vanegas, sophomore. “Afterwards, once we got started, it was a very fun experience. It was very enjoyable even if it was tiring after a long day of hard work.”

   No Porpoise In Wearing Pants depicts a dolphin wearing headphones and working on a laptop, a fun play on working from home. Zoe Newton came up with the idea of creating a dolphin, while another student thought to depict the challenges of remote learning. 

   “Our team captain, Zoe Newton, did the design,” said Ms. Beth Austin, Studio Art, Sculpture, 3D Design teacher. “It was actually a combination of two different ideas. Zoe originally wanted to do something with dolphins leaping out of water, and another girl had the idea to do something related to remote learning.”

   The team eventually decided to combine the designs. The sculpture was first drawn out as a sketch, where every inch on the sketch represented a foot on the sculpture. On the first day of sculpting, it was so cold that the tarp covering the snow had frozen to the block. Despite the freezing temperatures and the ice, the team pulled together and completed the six-foot tall statue. 

   “Once we got going on it, it went well,” said Ms. Austin. “One challenge was that we had a lot of reduction to do, a lot of negative space because the dolphin head was so much smaller than the width of the block. We had to spend a significant amount of the first day going at it with axes and machetes.”

   The team won the Fred Gardner Award, named after a local snow sculptor. Every year, Mr. Gardner helped student teams create their visions in snow. Other schools that received awards included Rockford Christian (which won three awards, including first place), Belvidere North, Rockford Lutheran, and Keith Country Day. 

   “It felt crazy, when they announced Guilford High School we all looked at each other in amazement making sure we weren’t just hearing things,” said Vanegas. “It ended up feeling great to have been a part of it.”

   Of the state teams, Cave People from Space won first place with their sculpture Antreader, which depicted an anteater reading a book in a cozy armchair

   The event was supported by many local businesses such as Sugar Jones and Woodman’s Supermarket. 

   “The team was very friendly and we all clicked right away,” said Vanegas. “We worked well together without any problems. My team definitely made the experience more enjoyable.”