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Snow Sculpture of Goddess Artemis Celebrates NASA Woman on Moon

Greek goddess Artemis snow sculpture
A US snow sculpting team will build a snow sculpture of the Greek goddess Artemis to celebrate NASA’s mission that sends the first woman to the Moon. Credit: Desiree DuBois / Facebook

An all-female snow sculpting team from the United States plans to create a snow version of the Greek goddess Artemis to celebrate NASA’s mission to put a woman on the Moon.

The Chickadees, an all-women group from Maine, will represent the state as the only all-female team in the US National Snow Sculpting Championship in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin next week.

Those taking part will have a set period of time in advance to create a sculpture from a block of snow using nothing but hand tools.

“It’s kind of like the Olympics of art, where you’re actually really challenged physically and mentally,” Serene Sanborn, captain of the Chickadees told News Center Maine.

The team comprises Sanborn, her sister Phoebe, and their close friend Desiree Dubois. Last week, the squad was busy practicing at Waterville’s Quarry Road Trails, putting chisel to snow on a smaller version of the sculpture they aim to build in Wisconsin, a depiction of the Greek goddess Artemis.

NASA’s Artemis II Mission and the Reason for the Snow Sculpture

The team has chosen the goddess for their sculpting in honor of NASA’s Artemis II mission, which endeavors to land the first female on the Moon this year.

The Chickadees explained that entering into the world of snow sculpting is not quite as challenging as landing on the Moon, but they believe they are brave all the same.

“Women have never not been invited to the competition, but sometimes you have to be explicit in your welcoming,” Phoebe Sanborn told News Center Maine, with her friend Dubois adding, “It’s brave to be a female artist, and I think its brave to be a female artist sculpting in sub-zero temperatures.”

It seems that to the Chickadees plying their hand tools in very cold temperatures under a time frame that can occasionally run into the night is a fountain of invigoration.

Dubois told News Center Maine, “This is the stuff that life is made of, this is what you got to do.” Serena Sanborn added, “Its ephemeral, like it’s there for a moment then gone. And I love that it’s also larger than life.”

According to NASA, Artemis II (the non-snow version) will build on the success of the uncrewed Artemis I in 2022 and will demonstrate a broad range of capabilities needed on deep space missions. The Artemis II flight test will be NASA’s first mission with crew aboard the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft and will “pave the way to land the first woman on the moon.”

Greek Goddess Artemis

Greek goddess Artemis
Greek Goddess Artemis, Louvre, Paris. Credit: flickr / Peter Mulligan CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Greek goddess Artemis, often depicted with her trusty bow and arrow and a short tunic, was representative of wild animals, the hunt, vegetation, chastity, and childbirth. The Romans referred to her as Diana. Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo.

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