Fifteen teams from around the world competed in the 23rd edition of Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships, and Team Mongolia won both the Artist’s and People’s Choice Awards.
This annual event, held in Breckenridge, Colorado, takes place this year from January 22nd to February 3rd.
Four-person teams from Argentina, Australia, Baltic-Latvia/Estonia, Canada-Yukon, Catalonia-Spain, China, Ecuador, Germany, Great Britain-Wales, Iceland, Mexico, Mongolia, Singapore, USA-Alaska and USA-Breckenridge worked a total of 65 hours across five days. Fifteen blocks of snow, measuring 12 feet (3.65 meters), and weighing 20 tons each, were sculpted from January 22nd to January 26th, and some artists stayed up all night to complete their works.
The teams had to create their masterpieces without using power tools, internal support structures and colorants.
Team Mongolia won first place, People’s Choice and Artists’ Choice with “Mongolian Warriors,” a piece that depicts 13th-century warriors atop horses.
An official awards ceremony took place Sunday at Breckenridge, Colorado’s Riverwalk Center to announce the winners and present them with medals.
“Team Mongolia evoked the furious energy of galloping across the Mongolian steppe,” said Jenn Cram, judge coordinator and Breckenridge Arts District Administrator. “The piece is powerful with its deliberate attention to detail and the dynamic alignment of planes. We could see that sculpture done in bronze, in marble; it was truly a sculptural piece.”
Last year’s winner of the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships was Team Canada-Quebec with “Great Expectations.”
Team Catalonia-Spain won second place with “Banyista Nua” (Homage to Picasso), showing a woman on the beach – an intentional contrast to both the medium and Breckenridge’s winter climate.
Team Estonia placed third at the Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Championships with “Koit,” a representation of a fairy tale in which, according to the team, two lovers – Dawn and Dusk – meet only twice each year. Team Canada-Yukon took Kids’ Choice for “An Inuit Moral Tale.”
Sculptures will remain on display at the Riverwalk Center in Breckenridge, Colorado until Sunday, February 3rd (weather permitting).