By Andrea Romano
February 22, 2018

The Patriots and the Eagles weren’t the only ones out on the field on Super Bowl Sunday. Not far from U.S. Bank Stadium where the Super Bowl was being held, snow artist Simon Beck was transforming Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins baseball team, into a work of art.

Snow Artist in Minneapolis
Credit: Courtesy of Great Northern

Beck teamed up with The Great Northern, a showcase of events that celebrate The North, in order to create the stunning snow design and timelapse video.

Travel + Leisure caught up with Beck to discuss the project. Surprisingly enough, making a piece of snow art is something that can’t exactly be planned out ahead of time, according to Beck.

“There were unknowns of the exact extent of the off-limits area surrounding the infield, where the pitcher stands and the bases are located, also the snow in one area was very shallow,” said Beck. “Therefore I was feeling my way to an extent and it was not planned a great deal.”

Beck became a snow artist by chance. He lives close to Les Arcs ski resort in France, where he began making drawings on the small lake outside his building. And of course, as a snow artist, pretty much every movement he makes is part of his art.

Snow Artist in Minneapolis
Credit: Courtesy of Great Northern

Beck typically begins surveying an area by “walking along lines that are part of a design.” Then, he will either use a compass or GPS to tell him where he is, and distance measurement is done by simply counting his steps. He uses a rope and an anchor to create accurate circles, and simple tools like snowshoes and ski sticks to make different designs.

The process, as Beck explained it, is both incredibly simple and complicated at the same time. With so much going into the process of making a piece of snow art, the notion of possibly making a mistake seemed all the more frustrating.

“Normally mistakes are ‘corrected’ by altering the design but it is better not to make them in the first place,” Beck said. “For a drawing 150m in diameter, which is a day’s work, average times would be two hours for the surveying, two hours for drawing the lines, three hours for the fractal periphery, if I make one, and four hours for shading.”

For his work at Target Field, Beck clocked his work around a day and a half, plus an addition two hours for restoring some parts of the work that faded due to more snow and wind during the night in between.

The long hours of work certainly paid off, according to Beck. “I expected it to be a failure as the climate in Minneapolis is rather dry, so I was delighted when snow was reported, hearsay is that it was their best/worst (depending on one’s point of view) for seven years. So we were really lucky and I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did,” he said.

Snow Artist in Minneapolis
Credit: Courtesy of Great Northern

Beck’s design may have faded by now, but the timelapse of his work still remains for everyone’s enjoyment.