MINNESOTA 1 | Block #15
Team Name: Team Kwe
Sculpture Title: "Nigig Nibi Ganawendan (Otter Water Protector)"
Artist Statement: Nigig Nibi Ganawendan (Otter Water Protector) The otter is one of the great mediators in Ojibwe culture and the messenger who brings rituals to the Ojibwe as Otter has the ability to travel over land and through water. A prominent Manitou figure, Otter finds its presence on the spiritually significant Ojibwe Birchbark Scrolls. One scroll song about Otter states: "I bring life to the people”. As Team Kwe, the only all indigenous snow sculpting team, we honor our Anishinaabe heritage and Otter’s spirit to protect the water of which we sculpt, play and live, and honor our tradition as women too are the keepers and protectors of the water.
- Heather Friedli (Captain) - In 2010 Heather Thru-Hiked the Appalachian Trail which upon completion inspired her to continue her work as an artist concentrating on painting and sculpting the natural world. In 2019 with Team Dino Fight they captured the US National Snow Sculpting Championship title. This holiday season, Heather premiered on a brand new Disney+ unscripted reality TV snow sculpting competition called “Best in Snow '' co-starring Tituss Burgess & Kermit the Frog!
- Maggie Thompson - As a textile artist and designer she derives her inspiration from the history of her Ojibwe heritage, exploring family history as well as themes and subject matter of the broader Native American experience.
- Juliana Welter - Started sculpting with sister Heather in 2019 finding great success with winning people's choice in 2021 and 3rd in Artist's place last year during State Competition.