A local artist creates a giant snow sculpture in Cornwall, Ontario. Park

CORNWALL, ONT. –

A large snow sculpture welcomes people to Lamoureux Park in downtown Cornwall, and it’s been such a hit that more may soon appear around the city.

The giant snow artwork comes from the mind of local Akwesasne artist Ryan Hill, calling him “The King of the Forest.”

“It’s basically a stump with a spirit of wood in the stump, kind of imagining what a tree would look like if it were alive,” Hill told CTV News Ottawa.

It took him about 10 hours to create over the freezing weekend of last January, and he came back several times to check, to do some minor touch-ups.

“The snow is constantly evaporating and eventually falling apart,” he said. “Today I’m just here to smooth things out, redefine lines, things like that.”

Artist Ryan Hill touches up his ‘King of the Forest’ snow sculpture in Cornwall’s Lamoureux Park on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)

Hill is no stranger to sculpture and has worked with Winterlude in Ottawa and the Ice on Whyte festival in Edmonton. He also produces chainsaw art on wood and stone art in his personal gallery.

“There are no festivals, everything is canceled, so I was looking for a place to express myself artistically, which I love to do,” Hill said. “Sculptures is what I do and thanks to the art community here in Cornwall we offered to do a snow sculpture (like) last year.”

The City of Cornwall had worked with Hill in the past, including on a snow dragon in the same park in 2021, and thought it would be a good idea for him to create another piece of art for residents to enjoy.

“We know that in winter it’s really easy to stay indoors, but we have beautiful parks in our community and this was just an opportunity to attract them, explore our community and enjoy winter,” said Kat Rendek, Project Coordinator for the City of Cornwall. .

The city provided Hill with an area near the civic complex and created a foundation with piled snow. It’s a place where people can easily drive by to see the finished product.

Several residents drove by and stopped to watch Tuesday morning, like the Bulloch family.

“I think it’s beautiful. It just adds an element of novelty to the park and I love looking at it,” said Scott Bulloch.

“This is our second time. We were here last week and our kids were absolutely captivated, so we’re very excited to come today and see the man behind the creation,” his wife Janelle added. “That’s so, very cool.”

“We’re glad it survived the elements,” she said. “I think it’s a metaphor for the current state we find ourselves in and hopefully it’s also something that can be encouraging for others.”

The Bulloch family visit Ryan Hill’s ‘King of the Forest’ snow sculpture in Cornwall’s Lamoureux Park. (Nate Vandermeer/CTV News Ottawa)

Rendek says the sculpture was a hit both in person and on social media.

“It’s really inspired people to see art in the winter, to see the unexpected, and to bring joy to a lot of people,” she said.

“On our Cornwall tourism social media page we posted just a little ‘come visit the community’ type post and it happens to be one of our top three social media posts for Cornwall” , added Rendek.

“We’re already talking about new sculptures in time for Family Day weekend as well, just get people out and enjoy some wintery art and Ryan’s work,” she said, noting that other artists in the city are invited to reach out with theirs. ideas.

“We welcome public art at this point in our community. They just have to contact the city and they will connect them with me and we will work with them to find a location and help them get settled,” said said Rendek.

“We would love to see people making snow sculptures in their own backyard or property, in other areas of the park. You don’t have to be a professional artist to play in the snow!” she added.

For Hill, he knows this sculpture will melt one day, and that’s fine with him.

“I was once told that a work of art is never finished, the artist just stops working on it,” he said.

But his memory will live on and he is proud that others can connect with his works.

“It’s kind of overwhelming, that part. Giving people good feelings and, you know, bringing a little bit of joy into their day and having them say, ‘Hey, look at that, that’s kind of cool,'” a he smiled.

You can find more artwork from Hill on its website.

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