Team Mongolia won both first place and People's Choice in the 23rd annual International Snow Sculpture Championships with "Mongolian Warriors," a piece that astounded judges in its depiction of 13th-century warriors atop horses. Along with 14 other teams, Mongolia worked across five days, for a total of 65 hours, to create an enormous work of art from a 20-ton block of snow in downtown Breckenridge.
Team Catalonia-Spain won second with "Banyista Nua" (Homage to Picasso), showing a woman on the beach - an intentional contrast to both the medium and Breck's winter climate. Team Estonia placed third with "Koit," a representation of a fairy tale in which, according to the team, two lovers - Dawn and Dusk - meet only twice each year. Team Canada-Yukon took Kids' Choice for "An Inuit Moral Tale."
"Team Mongolia evoked the furious energy of galloping across the Mongolian steppe," said Jenn Cram, judge coordinator and Breckenridge Arts District administrator. "The piece is powerful with its deliberate attention to detail and the dynamic alignment of planes. We could see that sculpture done in bronze, in marble; it was truly a sculptural piece."
Sculptures will remain on display at the Riverwalk Center until Sunday (weather permitting).
The event boasted its most diverse lineup to date, teams competing included Argentina, Australia, Estonia, Canada-Yukon, Catalonia-Spain, China, Ecuador, Germany, Great Britain-Wales, Iceland, Mexico, Mongolia, Singapore, USA-Alaska and USA-Breckenridge. Competition judges included Cram, glassblower John Hudnut, painter Amy Evans, public art administrator and curator Deana Miller and sculptor Douwe Blumberg.