Snow sculptor’s latest work gives back to Make-A-Wish WNY

Make-A-Wish

CUBA, N.Y. (WIVB) — For many of us in Western New York, winter tends to feel like it may never end. But a West Clarksville man is helping us enjoy the cold with his snow sculptures. News 4’s Gabrielle Mediak stopped by Cuba, to share his latest work off art and who it’s helping this time.

If you were driving down the 305 in Allegany County this week, it was hard miss this life size, neon green and blue car made of snow! It sat right in front of the Cuba Block Barn.

Eric Jones is the man behind the masterpiece. He’s known for sculpting unique mediums. “I like working with pumpkins, snow, sand, ice. So things that rot and melt away,” said Jones.  “So this time of year my pallet is snow.”

It’s a process that takes 20-30 hours filled with sculpting, hand carving and painting. He’s using his art to give back, helping numerous charities during the pandemic.

And while he puts hours into bringing these unique works of art to life, these pieces, much like the winter weather he sculpts in, are seasonal.

His latest sculpture lasted just 48 hours, due to the weather but he’s still asking the community to give to Make-A-Wish WNY. “Charites are really struggling because they can’t hold events and they just can’t reach out like they normally could,” he said.

“It’s not just the dollars raised here but the awareness,” said Kate Glaser of Make-A-Wish WNY.  “The fact that Make-a-Wish is right here in the community and we are granting wishes that are local.”

In fact, wish recipient, Caylee Barton lives just down the road from the block barn. “Make-A-Wish gave me my dream of being a kid again and wrestling gators,” she said.

The 11-year-old is doing well today and enjoys checking out the snow sculptures with her mom.

“Her mom had reached out and said, check out Eric’s sculptures they’re amazing,” said Glaser. “And he said whatever I can do to help Make-A-Wish, I would love to. So I give a lot of credit to Caylee, Emily and Eric for making this happen.”

Beyond local charities,  all they hype behind Eric’s snow sculptures has also helped local businesses. “Busy restaurants,  the cheese shop was really busy from the traffic, which I didn’t even anticipate,” said Jones. “So that made it even better.”

If you want to donate to Make-A-Wish and support kids with critical illnesses in a time where fundraising is extremely difficult, head here.

Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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