Hands on, Anchorage Waldorf students win Rondy snow sculpting contest
Famed renaissance artist Michelangelo once said "Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."
This week sculptors of all ages were removing the excess from their medium of choice — snow — to reveal brilliant works of art in Ship Creek for the Fur Rondy Alaska State Snow Sculpture Championship.
A handful of junior high students from the Anchorage Waldorf School certainly made their mark with a piece titled "Polar Plight." The finished product, a sad polar bear on a lone chunk of ice, took first place in the schools division.
"We're kind of going to show global warming and that the ice is melting and that's going to cause problems," 8th grader Aubrey Ingle told KTUU.
Instead of spending the last week focused on reading, writing, or arithmetic, a handful of artistically inclined young students worked with specialty teacher Matt Untenberger to develop plans for their sculpture.
The group started with graph paper, then made a small scale model of the bear, before eventually attacking the big block of snow that would become their winning piece.
"I learned it takes patience to do this, you can't rush it," said student sculptor Tristan Evenoffstickmann.
While the team from Anchorage Waldorf was excited to win their division, they seemed equally enthused to be able to get out of the confines of a normal school week and work on something different as a way to further their educational pursuits.
"We're really lucky to be out here and learn outside because not a lot of kids get the opportunity these days," Ingle said.
With one victory already under their belts, the competition now continues on.
Still to come this week is the People's Choice Awards, and if "Polar Plight" catches the eye of enough passersby, they could be in line for yet another accolade.