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Snow sculptures building winter fun and community support in Lincoln Park

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DULUTH, MN -- Large boxes of snow are popping up on the 1900 block of West Superior Street and Craft District Breweries in Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Eventually, those boxes will come down and be replaced with five snow sculptures as part of the district's first Snow Sculpture Show.

Area business owners, such as Frost River, Bent Paddle, Ursa Minor, OMC, Duluth Pottery, and Love Creamery, collaborated to make it happen.

"We decided to have like a little art show outside with snow sculptures in hopes of building towards having a bigger winter festival next year," Karin Kraemer, owner of Duluth Pottery, Tile, and Gallery, said.

Kraemer said they wanted to do something to make winter more fun since people cannot do as many indoor activities during the pandemic.

"I hope they go, 'I want to go check that out and appreciate some fun art in Lincoln Park,'" Kraemer said. "We're trying to do more and more things down here and this is a good way to do it."

Gardner Builders made the boxes, and volunteers packed snow in them ahead of the artists' arrival.

Pier B Resort Hotel is helping house the artists.

They would normally stay in people's homes but cannot this year because of the pandemic.

Designer and artist Jason Quick is the first artist to get to work in Lincoln Park Thursday.

"I'll probably get on top first and cut off all the big chunks on the corners while I have a flat surface up there, and then we'll go from there with all these different tools we have," Quick said.

This is not Quick's first sculpting project who has been sculpting for four years.

For artists like Quick, who is from the Twin Cities, the pandemic left a big impact on their industry.

"I've worked in design and build and exhibit and big interactive destination-type creations," Quick said. "Immersive spaces and exhibits are not happening so much right now, so that's been a clear hit to that industry."

Each snow box gets its own team of artists.

The artists are given a stipend for their time, lodging, and food from Lincoln Park businesses.

"Everybody has given us food vouchers and things for them [the artists] to eat, and beer of course," Kraemer said.

Quick said he already feels supported by local businesses.

"It feels good to roll in and be supported as an artist up here," he said.

Quick is following the theme of seeking light in his art.

It is something he will showcase in this snow sculpture.

"You get to interpret it how you want it," Quick said. "It's either a light-seeking device or maybe it's a megaphone for people voicing what they want to. Seeing it as an invitation for positive energy."

Quick has two days to carve his sculpture before heading back to the Twin Cities.

He will carve the large chunks on Thursday and add the finishing touches on Friday.

More artists will get to work in the coming weeks.

People in Duluth can watch the project happen in Lincoln Park.

Watchers are asked to be respectful of the artist's space and maintain social distancing.

Click here to watch the sculpture's progress from a distance.

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Kendall Jarboe

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