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Snow job

Although incredibly inconvenient, winter storms have a positive effect, as a playful photography exhibit shows.

Rod Lott December 7th, 2011

Snowmen Are People, Too: Norman’s Whimsical Transient Winter Population
7 p.m. Friday through Jan. 31, 2012
Sonder Music, Dance & Art
225 E. Gray, Norman

Nearly two years ago, a Christmas Eve blizzard practically shut down the greater metro area. While most people hunkered down on Christmas Day, Miranda Arana went to work.

Not to the University of Oklahoma, where she serves as an adjunct instructor of music, but to the residential streets of Norman, shooting photos of the snow for her own amusement.

“But as I began to notice more and more snowmen popping up all over town, I realized that it needed to be documented,” Arana said.

The result is the photography exhibit “Snowmen Are People, Too: Norman’s Whimsical Transient Winter Population,” opening Friday at Sonder Music, Dance & Art in Norman. The opening reception includes music by Arana’s own instrumental duo, Arabesque, and a pop band of four 10-year-old girls, Will J.A.M.

And don’t forget the main attraction: 45 images of snowmen.

“The variety was astonishing,” she said. “Some were funny and quirky, some were refined, others were brazen. There are even several photos that I will not be exhibiting because they are age-inappropriate.”

On display through the winter  season, the exhibit of diverse snowmen reflects the city’s own diversity, Arana said, noting she came across temporary sculptures playing football, partying, hitchhiking, aping Harry Potter and even committing suicide. No matter the pose, dress or objects used in the creation, she was impressed by each.

“People here are creative,” said Arana, a native New Yorker. “My sense is that when the snow accumulates here, which is not that often, it triggers in people an almost reckless abandon, and snow is the medium. ... It gives them permission to be uninhibited, since they know that their creations will melt away pretty quickly."

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