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This article was published 6/2/2018 (1114 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg artist James Culleton is bringing his passion for design and snow carving to Riding Mountain National Park this week.
From Wednesday to Saturday, Culleton will be carving snow sculptures in the shape of furniture at three locations in and around Wasagaming.
Titled "Snowplaces," the sculptures will resemble full-furnished living rooms, equipped with what he calls "snowfas," cushions and lighting.
"I guess the idea is Manitobans are a hardy bunch," Culleton said. "So whether it’s minus 30, or only minus 10, they need somewhere to sit."
The event is part of Riding Mountain’s annual Winter Adventure Weekend and once finished, the sculptures will be open to the public for the rest of winter.
The idea stems from a collaboration he and fellow artist Chris Pancoe started several years ago in Winnipeg, and the two have been featuring their work at The Forks ever since.
Culleton’s work has been showcased in Westman before, most recently for Brandon’s second annual Winter Garden, which featured an installation of his at the YMCA called "Aviary" — a space where pedestrians could walk among wooden birds and activate motion-sensors that create bird sounds.
But the artist said he hasn’t had the chance to work in Riding Mountain before.
The project is closely entwined with the idea of home, which comes as no surprise considering Culleton is a furniture designer himself.
"Immediately when I think of home, I think of correlated living rooms, with places where people spend a lot of time and lounge," he said.
"And so when I was thinking of that whole idea, I thought it would be really interesting to bring in the idea of a living room ... outside, but also add different things that could make you think you’re outside and inside at the same time."
Culleton said he intends on adding other pieces such as log end tables, lamps, and even artwork in each of the living rooms he designs.
"For me, the idea of home was ... how could you make something where people would actually hang out there for a while, sit next to each other, and talk," he said.
"It’s really about each of these spaces being little gathering places."
Riding Mountain’s Winter Adventure Weekend also starts this Friday and will last all weekend.
Some of the featured events include a hockey tournament, skating, cross-country skiing, ice-fishing, skijoring and kick-sledding.
"I think Manitobans are realizing, hey, we better start using this winter to our advantage," Culleton said. "So I can see more and more of this kind of stuff happening."
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