Yard art turning heads – at least until weather warms

Frosty flakes great for art

Give Craig Cochran a few inches of snow to work with, and he will sculpt an attention-getter in the front yard of his North Lawrence home.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a kid, and I’m 36 now,” Cochran said Monday. “It’s sort of a tradition.”

Until the weather warms and the snow melts, Cochran’s latest snow creation – a punk rock musician – can be seen in the 300 block of Elm Street.

Cochran, a carpenter who sometimes works as a club disc jockey, said it took him three hours to create the head Sunday after 3 inches of snow fell on Lawrence. A niece and nephew helped with the project, he said.

“I used a spoon to sculpt it,” Cochran said. “The eyes are briquettes – mesquite.”

Cochran thought about painting the pointy hair green but decided “it wouldn’t be environmentally friendly.”

Cochran’s snow sculptures have taken many forms in the past, he said. Dragons have been a favorite.

“You need a lot more snow for that,” he said. “It doesn’t snow around here like it used to.”

Cochran’s snow sculptures are a spinoff of his interest in art. He also paints and makes more traditional sculptures. He used to display his work at the now-closed Grimshaw Gallery in downtown Lawrence.

Now he displays his work on his lawn.

“A lot of people have come by and stopped to take pictures,” he said.

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