Spike is a towering figure at Drake basketball games. The snow sculpture of Drake's mascot will be carved out of a 10-foot-tall block of snow.
CONTACT: Kelly Donovan, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119, email@example.com
Drake University students will build a replica of Spike and raise money for charity as part of the 2008 Iowa College and University Snow Sculpting Contest.
Up to 20 colleges and universities will compete in the 24-hour contest to build the best school mascot out of 10-foot-tall blocks of snow at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, 4051 Dean Ave. The event, sponsored by Grand View College as part of the Des Moines Winter Games, will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.
The snow sculptures will be judged at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. First prize will be a traveling trophy and $200 will be donated to the charity of the winner's choice.
Contestants may choose to begin and sculpt their mascot at any time during the 24-hour period. A party in a heated tent featuring free food and entertainment for contest participants will immediately follow the judging on Feb. 2.
Kelly Donovan, a junior from Rockford, Ill., who is majoring in sculpture and graphic design, serves as captain of the Drake team. Other team members include sculpture majors Anthony Roark, a junior from Jefferson, S.D., and Nicki Werner, a junior from St. Louis.
Additional team members are needed. Interested students should contact Donovan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donovan is an experienced snow sculptor who participated in the 2004 and 2005 Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition in the high school division.
"I love being outside in the snow working with a material I normally wouldn't get to use for art," she said. "You get a little delirious being in the cold and snow all day and night, especially when you are wielding a machete."
The design will probably be playful and simple because of the time constraints of the competition, Donovan said.
"The block of snow is huge and dense," she added. "We will be using a number of tools, some regular saws and others we make, including a line of barbed wire with a handle on each end.
"The dog we create will be towering above us even as we sculpt it. Snow sculptures are amazing to me because of the sheer size -- huge works of art created in a very small amount of time. Competitions like this are great for participants and also viewers who can come look at the process and progress."
All money raised by the Drake team will be donated to the Central Asia Institute, which provides community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Central Asia. Those who wish to contribute may donate online by visiting the institute's Web site. Donors may then sending an e-mail message to email@example.com to inform the team of the contribution.
Additional information about the Snow Sculpting Contest is available online.