Campus hero: Meet the student artist behind Snowman Batman
There’s a new superhero on campus and it’s Anthony La Giglia, who worked well into the dark of night to turn a late February snowfall into the Dark Knight in front of Hovey Hall.
The junior art major was inspired by a couple of other snow sculptures that popped up around the Center for Visual Arts, including a Rodin-like sculpture of a female form. Although La Giglia had never sculpted from snow before, he decided he could do it—with only a plastic knife from a campus dining center.
From 6 p.m. Wednesday until nearly midnight he lifted, packed, and carved the heavy wet snow piled on a concrete bench on the east end of the Quad with the help of girlfriend Melissa Haberstroh, a freshman French education major.
“It was all him, I just put some snow up there,” she said, as he hopped up to have his photo taken by Batman, his favorite crime fighter.
“I’m a huge Batman fan,” he said, adding he had no trouble sculpting even the detailed cowl from memory. “I’ve seen all the movies and play the video games. It’s difficult to get the image out of my head.”
While he was working, there was a persistent dusting of snow, which he’d brush off to preserve the muscled detail. When he was done, he sprayed the 6-foot sculpture with water, hoping a thin skin of ice would preserve it longer.
“People were walking up to me last night giving me weird looks and wishing me luck,” he said. A friend took his shift at Watterson Dining Commons so he could finish it. In the morning, there were no strange looks, just students taking pictures of his work, some of them hopping up on the bench to put an arm around the chilly crime fighter.
“I’m so excited people like it,” he said. “I took off work to build a monument.”
And then he jumped off the bench, where he’d paused for a photo, and said, “I gotta go to class.”
Kate Arthur can be reached at kaarthu@IllinoisState.edu.