Angela Imboden rubbed her gloved hand around the large bear’s muzzle.
It was starting to take on a more defined shape.
The Thunder Mountain High School art teacher used Thursday’s fresh snowfall and winter break free time to create large snow sculptures in her front yard.
“This is what happens when you send me out to shovel snow,” Imboden said.
Imboden said she has made similar large sculptures — each bear was close to life-size — in past years, but the polar bears are the first ones she has made this winter.
She hauled sled fulls of snow from the edge of the driveway to where she would need it for her sculptures.
As of 2 p.m. Thursday, Imboden had finished one bear that peered over its shoulder with rock eyes and a woodchip nose while its creator was smoothing out a rough pile of snow that would become a bear leaning forward on its forelegs.
There were also some unshaped snow piles behind the first bear, and Imboden said she wasn’t yet sure what they would become.
The first bear, Imboden said, took about two or three hours to create.
“When I started, it wasn’t good packing snow at all, but I said, ‘I’ll put energy in and it’ll stick,” she said.
By the time she moved on to the second bear, afternoon rain and warmer weather meant the snow was wetter and more cohesive.
“This one is solid,” Imboden said while working on its face with a square tool.
She anticipated it would be able to support the weight of a child playing on it.
“I should build it on a playground next time,” Imboden said.
• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.