Snow Days: PA Lawn Sculpture builds Culture

Sydney Berggren ® Staff Writer |

A giant snowflake — with Stomper’s face at center — will be sculpted this week near the #MAVFAM sign near Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Earley Center for Performing Arts. 

The event is part of “Mankato Winter Pride,” an event planned by the Student Events Team to bring unity, pride, and “Stomper spirit” to campus this winter. 

“We have had ice sculptures in the past but this year, we decided that we wanted to do something a little different,” says student event coordinator Ella May. 

The snow sculpture is projected to stand eight feet tall and feature the Stomper logo in the middle. Words referring to the teachings of the Seven Grandfathers will adorn the outer edge: love, respect, bravery, humility, truth, honesty and wisdom. These teachings are said to form the foundation of an indigenous way of life.

The snow will be sculpted by three women artists, each of whom has ties to the Anishinaabe community.  

Heather Friedli, an oil painter and 13-year veteran of snow sculpting, is the team’s captain. Friedli is a first-generation descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. She also has family heritage with the Indigenous peoples of Sonora, Mexico. 

Heather’s sister, Juliana Welter, is also on the sculpting team. This will be her third season on the team. Welter is an independent artist who is ready to take on another chilling challenge. 

Maggie Thompson is a textile artist and member of the Fond du Lac Tribe of Ojibwe. She is nationally known for her intricately knitted cowls and hats, as these have been showcased in several museums regionally. 

The build began Monday morning as the team created a form for the base and started compaction. The Student Events Team has assisted by stomping snow. 

The team will start the actual sculpture Tuesday morning. They expect to work all day and into late evening. They say they expect to complete the sculpture by Wednesday afternoon. It will remain intact until Feb. 13. 

Header photo from Reporter Archives.

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