Several weeks ago, when it was still possible to make a snowman, salmon-colored fliers began appearing around the Pit, announcing "The First Annual Daryl Janes Snowman Competition: Grand Prize $100," and went on to list an elaborate set of rules and regulations governing submissions. FM sent a reporter to meet the illustrious Mr. Janes in his "apartment cum studio" above JFK Street and discover the soft underbelly of the secret world that is snow-art philanthropy.
FM: Have you had much response to the poster?
Uhhh, not really, which gives me the idea that people pass by who don't have a pen. With a competition, you have to do a bit more than just put up posters, Perhaps I should have gotten coverage in the Globe, or Crimson. Maybe I'll do that next year and increase the prize money. For some of these students, $100 is like lunch money. It's really more of an honorarium. I'd like to get a sponsor--one of the banks, or one of the industries. Like anything, like General Mills or something. As the contest grows, maybe we could raise it to $10,000.I mean, the sky's the limit. The vision is going nationally...The national Daryl Janes Snowman Contest, sponsored by some big company, and everyone would know about it. And we would have a million people every year making snowmen. And we would have a distinguished panel of artists to judge. The nation would be anticipating who would win this contest.
FM: We haven't had very snowman-friendly weather lately. How has that affected the contest?
I was pleased that it DID snow, and I'm really hoping that it might snow again--kind of like a quick blizzard. But I'm really thinking about next year. Your article might help get me some publicity for next year.
FM: What do you feel snow-art contributes to society?
I have found it tremendously beneficial to my own sculpture. I've been surprised by what I've been able to get out of it. In a couple of hours, you can get a whole torso, with muscles and a head--not just a regular snowman, but one that presents a real physique.
FM: So your own snowman-style has been more classic?
Yes, but the traditional ones are good too. But it shouldn't be just the three-balls...but I do think that the classical "frosty" is cute--if done properly--in more of a full tone, instead of just three balls.
FM: Your poster said that "all media material must be in snow." What materials do people use that you think are inappropriate for snowmen?
Perhaps excessive clothing, or something like that. I felt that if they wanted to put on a hit, that they should sculpt it. Maybe I'll change that to allow them to do a hair color spray.
FM: So what is your personal favorite snow-figure?
It was a combination of a traditional and classic. The bottom was more round, while the top was more sculpted, with muscles. A Globe photographer took a picture of it. You know, even though the snowmen melt, you always have the picture. I think artists should work in conjunction with photographers. It's like clouds, or even people--people die, and all you have left is pictures. So if you think about it, the snowman is really a metaphor for people.
FM: If you were a snowman, what would you look like?
Hmmm...that sounds like a question from "The Dating Game"...I think I would be more robust--I could be a classic snowman from the waist down, but I'D like my chest to be kind of robust and large. I'd have a top hat, a dashing top hat. And a scarf, and a pleasant smile--a smile that says "I'm a snowman, and I'm proud to be a snowman." Like, SNOWMAN!