Carving Out a Cooler Eau Claire
Snazzy cities all around the world from Chicago to Innichen, Italy make winter even cooler with artistic and cultural festivals surrounding snow sculpting competitions, drawing lots of attention and business.
Local artist and sculptor Steve Bateman has competed in these competitions for quite a few years, winning international awards. Bateman recently heard that his snow sketch entitled “Snowpra” has just been accepted in the Chicago Snow Days festival.
These competitions are a big deal, and the festivals they are often part of last anywhere from a day to a few weeks.
Bateman wants to bring this winter activity to Eau Claire, though starting on a smaller scale. His vision is to start this winter by having local restaurants and businesses sponsor a sculpture that will be placed outside of their building. Bateman and other local artists will carve the sculptures to start with, but in future years he hopes to have a full-blown competition for kids and adults alike.
“Having snow sculptures around town will give people an idea of what a competition would be like, as well as see how having more public art around town would be beneficial to the community and the businesses” Bateman explains.
Unfortunately, city-wide cooperation is needed for this to work. “There are lots of road blocks and red tape that are in the way,” says Bateman.
This kind of event stands to enhance the community and winter season, as well as draw people from surrounding areas. So come on, Eau Claire! Let’s knock those irritating roadblocks down and slice right through that red tape. Just imagine how much more magical your stroll through town would be if creatures such as wild-eyed jackalopes and graceful swans emerge through the sparkling snow, illuminated by soft city lights.
If you’re ready to help make this happen, give Bateman a call at 308-2790.