International Snow Sculpture Championships

Sixteen teams are set to compete in the International Snow Sculpture Championships, which brings an outdoor art gallery to downtown Breckenridge, Colo. from Jan. 22 through Feb. 3, 2013.

The selection represents the most diverse field of artists in the event’s 23-year history and includes both past medalists and teams new to the event: Argentina (new), Australia, Baltic-Latvia/Estonia, Canada-Yukon, Catalonia-Spain, China, Ecuador (new), Germany, Great Britain-Wales, Iceland (new), India (new), Mexico, Mongolia (new), Singapore (new), USA-Alaska and USA-Breckenridge.

New for 2013, viewers can follow their favorite teams online at BreckConnection.com, where submission sketches are posted. Daily photo updates will also be available on Facebook.com/GoBreck.

A panel of judges – event founders, organizers and snow artists – chose teams from the largest application pool ever, based on past performance (in Breckenridge and at other global snow sculpting events), team resume and overall sculpting experience, among other criteria.

Throughout the five days (65 hours) of sculpting, each team creates an enormous work of art from 12-foot-tall, 20-ton blocks of machine-made Colorado snow.

Artists achieve finished pieces without the use of power tools, internal support structures or colorants. At the close of the competition, Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes are awarded, along with Artists’ Choice and two categories open to public voting, People’s Choice and Kids’ Choice.

Winners receive no money; rather recognition throughout the international snow sculpting community.

In the picture above: A spectator walks through the outdoor art gallery created by the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge, Colo.

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