From Buffalo Bills players, to Shrek, to Cupid, the amazing snow sculptures by West Clarksville artist Eric Jones have been gaining a lot of attention lately, with onlookers flocking in droves from far and wide to catch a glimpse of these amazing frozen creations.
Now, Jones has taken his talents to Alfred State, where he recently created a 4-foot-by-8-foot sculpture of the college’s mascot, Big Blue the Ox. The sculpture can be found on the Green Space between the Central Dining Hall and the Agriculture Science Building.
When asked what prompted him to make a sculpture at Alfred State, Jones noted that he “wanted to do something a little bit different.”
“With COVID, there are a lot of restrictions on what we can do and can’t do on campuses now,” he said. “This is something we can all enjoy.”
Carving from a giant block of snow, Jones began working on the ox sculpture on the morning of Feb. 15 as snow continued to fall and blanket the campus. When working with such a large subject, Jones, who is a well-known caricature artist, said he has to plot out his design rather than free-hand sketch it.
“I actually grid this off foot by foot and then I’ll paint it on the actual base and then I start carving the 3-D image and go into that process,” he said.
Snow is just one of the mediums that Jones uses to create incredible works of art, as he also carves sand, ice, snow, and even mud. Last fall thanks to his pumpkin-carving skills, Jones became a finalist on season 10 of Halloween Wars, a popular reality TV show on the Food Network.
Jones noted how pleased he was to get to do a snow sculpture on Alfred State’s campus.
“I love this place,” he said. “I went to school right across the street and I’ve been working for Alfred for a lot of years. I do caricatures up here every spring, sometimes in the fall, too, so I’ve been affiliated with the school for a long time. There are great people here. They’ve been good to me, and I’m going to try to be good to them.”
As for all of the attention his snow sculptures have been getting lately, Jones said it’s been a lot of fun for him but added that the best part is that he has been able to raise funds and awareness for charities through these creations.
“With this COVID issue, charities are struggling. They’re having a hard time taking in the money to do what they need to do, and we rely on those,” said Jones, who listed the Make-A- Wish Foundation, Kaely’s Kindness, and Oishei Children’s Hospital as examples of charities his sculptures have helped. “We’re using this momentum to help them, too.” In the spirit of the occasion, Alfred State is hosting a snow sculpture contest for students from Feb. 15-19, with prizes awarded in several categories, including Best in Show, Most Unique, and Pioneer Pride.