Stevens Point Resident Turns Front Yard into Art

Adam Helmsing

ahelm519@uwsp.edu

Two weeks ago, Bigfoot could be found standing guard over 2617 Clark Street. Last week, three snowmen missed a jump and had a skiing accident. What will locals see this week?

Jeff Schobert, the artist responsible for creating many unique snow sculptures including elephants and igloos, said the next project to be seen on his lawn will be a giant bottle of beer.

On and off for the last couple of years, armed only with common household gardening tools and cardboard, Schobert has strived to be creative in his snow sculpture designs. He simply wants to have fun.

“It’s like clay. Take a big clump of clay and throw it into a pile. Then you look and ask, ‘what does it look like? Oh, it looks like a bear,’ next thing you know you got it,” Schobert said.

Schobert’s sculptures caught the attention of Bob Orgish, who helped to coordinate Izaak Walton League’s Winter Jamboree this past Saturday, a fundraiser to support the league’s local conservation projects.

“I can’t say enough about Jeff,” Orgish said. “He was excited and came down on Friday, cold fingers and all.”

Orgish tried to schedule a sculpturing event and contacted the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Art Department, SPASH, and Pacelli. According to Orgish, only Schobert was willing to brave the cold.

“I like to volunteer and make people happy,” Schobert said.

Schobert sculpted a bear falling through the ice for the Winter Jamboree.

“I was definitely very impressed with it,” Orgish said.

Schobert’s sculptures are even more impressive considering that the snow isn’t packing. He uses “avalanche snow packing” to create forms and then carves out his designs.

“I pile up the snow and then I will press cardboard up against it and lean into it,” Schobert said. “And then pack it down with my hands, bring more snow on top, and eventually it will start to grow.”

“Different kinds of snow take different kinds of techniques,” Schobert said.

In order to create the bear displayed at the Winter Jamboree, the snow had to be packed between wooden sheets and sit for 24 hours.

“It’s like looking into the future, seeing it and then coming back to the present with the design,” Schobert said.

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