January 26, 2009
Racine snow sculptor wins Dells competition
Remember right before Christmas when Jeff Shawhan and Jim Malkowski carved a stern Santa Claus out of a block of snow on Monument Square?
We called them champion snow sculptors then -- and this weekend they won another championship!
Shawhan and his team, which in the Dells included Brett Tomczak, created a snow sculpture of a butterfly on a log to win the annual Flake Out Festival in the Wisconsin Dells, topping two dozen competitors. Their winning sculpture, called "A Bug's Life," means that Shawhan will represent Wisconsin in the 2010 national championships in Lake Geneva. In two weeks, his team will compete in Chicago's snow sculpting championships, against 18 teams (whittled down from 50 entrants.)
In Racine, Shawhan's "canvas" was a block of snow 4-ft. by 4-ft by 8-ft. tall. In the Dells' competition there was more to work with: the blocks are 10 feet tall by 6-ft. by 6-ft.
Shawhan, who last year opened Elements, a Sixth Street gallery featuring his raku pottery, is an art professor at Concordia University in Mequon.