Sask. artist wins prestigious international snow carving competition

Saskatoon artist wins prestigious international snow carving competition
WATCH ABOVE: Snow and ice carving are known as temporal art forms, where weather and time will ultimately limit the sculpture's lifespan. Carly Robinson reports on how one local carver is bringing Saskatchewan’s history and culture to an international audience.

SASKATOON – Patricia Leguen made the transition from traditional sculpting to snow sculpting almost 25 years ago, and has never looked back. She has travelled the world competing in many international competitions.

This past January, Leguen and two teammates from Russia took first place at a prestigious competition in Valloire, France, adding to her long list of awards.

Leguen, who also runs a translating service here in Saskatoon, says she loves “the fact that you work outside in the cold, and people get to see you carve a piece from start to finish. It’s very educational for the public as well.”

“I try to represent things that are dear to my heart,” said Leguen. “And I like the First Nations culture.”

Leguen has carved a number of busts of historical leaders here in Saskatchewan, such as Gabriel Dumont or Chief Poundmaker. In every case, she will research the individual’s story and get permission from current community leaders in order to accurately tell their story at international competitions.

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“I never do the same thing twice and it’s always a challenge but once we’re done we’re really related.”

Leguen says that because of the physical toll it takes on your body, female carvers are the minority.

In a community of about 500, less than 15 per cent are women. She encourages any carver she meets to give temporal art forms, be it snow, sand or fire art – a try.