Ann Arbor man creates snow sculptures in his back yard

ANN ARBOR – Mark Lee started making snow sculptures in his backyard 11 years ago when he and his young son were building snow forts together.

The owner of a local gardening company has enjoyed spending the winter months creating the sculptures that the neighbors also visit.

As a graduate of an art school, Lee enjoys the challenge of turning snow into shapes, objects, and faces. But in recent years, the snowfall hasn’t been enough to create a permanent work of art – until the last few weeks.

Snow sculptures in the form of animals that Mark Lee created in 2021. (Mark Lee)

“This year was unusual,” said Lee. “It was so cold and we had such constant snow that I could always add something. It’s been seven years since I did this. “

This season’s massive pile of snow has taken many forms. Lee turned it into a bird, pig, owl, and cat. Some sculptures are abstract and sometimes he puts candles in them to light up the work at night.


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His latest sculpture is an ode to Black History Month with an African art motif.

A sculpture in honor of Black History Month. (Mark Lee)

When asked how he decides what to create, he says that the shape of the pile of snow dictates which way to go with it.

Lee, who is already known in the community for his seasonal creations, said he got different reactions.

“Half of the people say, ‘Oh, that’s really beautiful,’ and the other half, ‘Oh, it’s going to melt,’ said Lee, who said he actually enjoys their passing nature.“ I like the volatile fact of the sculptures, that they are only here for this brief moment. “

Snow sculptures Mark Lee created in Ann Arbor in 2021. (Mark Lee)

Although his son is now a teenager and no longer interested in building snow forts, he will be contributing to his father’s latest creation. Ultimately, Lee makes the sculptures for his own enjoyment.


“This is my view from my kitchen window.” he said. “And I have a beautiful sculpture to look at.”

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