‘We made a Snowpy!’: Hyde Park pair sculpt Snoopy out of Promontory Point snow

The snow sculpture takes the pup from his usual spot in Charlie Brown’s backyard and plants him on the South Side, before a view accented by the lake, beach sand, South Shore high-rises, Southeast side smokestacks and more.

SHARE ‘We made a Snowpy!’: Hyde Park pair sculpt Snoopy out of Promontory Point snow
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A snow sculpture of Snoopy is seen at Promontory Point in Hyde Park on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2021. The beloved beagle was sculpted by Chicago residents Megan Kennedy and Alexandre Machado.

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After a stretch of heavy snow blanketed the city last week, Hyde Park residents Megan Kennedy and Alexandre Machado decided to brave the cold and mark the end of the workweek with a winter art project at Promontory Point on Friday.

The result: A nearly 3-foot-tall snowy homage to the iconic Peanuts beagle Snoopy relaxing on top of his dog house, complete with a rock for a nose and some craft foam for an ear.

The snow sculpture takes the pup from his usual spot in Charlie Brown’s backyard and plants him on the south side of the park, before a view accented by the lake, 57th and 63rd Street beach sand, South Shore high-rises, Southeast side smokestacks and more.

While they tried to recruit some other friends to join them, Kennedy, 29, and Machado, 37, said the single-digit temperatures kept the others inside. So, equipped with a garbage can, duster, dustpan, a dollar-store sand castle builder set and a shortlist of potential snow sculpture ideas, the two friends left their nearby apartments to meet at the Point by sunset and get to work.

The pair said that once they staked their spot in the park near the light of a streetlamp, they started working with the snow and realized they could pack it into a giant mountain-volcano-like structure to chisel out Snoopy and his doghouse. As they worked, people walking by would stop and stare.

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Megan Kennedy works on a snow sculpture of Snoopy made with Alexandre Machado at Promontory Point in Hyde Park on Friday, Feb. 4, 2021.

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Using an image of Snoopy on their phones as a reference, Kennedy and Machado said it took them a little over an hour and a half to complete their masterpiece. It was a blend of fun and focus to carry out their vision as the temperature continued to dip below freezing and their hands started to get shaky, they said.

“After [we finished],” Machado said, “Megan said, ‘Oh, we made a Snowpy!’”

In addition to the bitter cold, another obstacle for their sculpture turned out to be a real dog.

“A golden retriever tried to knock it over halfway through,” Kennedy said with a laugh. “We had to chase him, it was really cute though.”

Kennedy said sculpting Snowpy was a chance to get out and enjoy her occasional hobby of making snow sculptures.

“It’s kind of nostalgia for my childhood,” said Kennedy, who grew up in the suburbs and is now working on her MD-Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. “Plus I like being outside and it’s hard to find excuses to go outside when it’s this cold out.”

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Alexandre Machado poses with the Snowpy sculpture he made with Megan Kennedy at Promontory Point in Hyde Park Friday, Feb. 4, 2021.

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For Machado, who says he works for a travel rewards company, it was a chance to have some fun in the snow and try his hand at sculpting a piece — something he didn’t get to do before moving to Chicago from Brazil in 2019, he said. The two met through Machado’s wife, who is a postdoctoral fellow in the same UChicago program as Kennedy.

Machado cited an impressive dragon that Kennedy made at the Point last year as one of the reasons he wanted her to show him the snow sculpture ropes.

“She’s very artistic and crafty and she likes to do snowmen,” Machado said. “I always tell her, ‘Oh you gotta teach me how to make a good one because I don’t get snow in Brazil.’

“It turned out to be very fun — cold, but fun,” Machado said.

Later in the weekend, Kennedy and Machado both returned to the Point at separate times to see the sculpture. There, they found a lot of people stopping by to take photos and admire their work.

When a Sun-Times journalist tweeted a photo of Snowpy on Sunday, thousands reacted and positive responses poured in. Some users made plays on Snoopy’s alter-ego Joe Cool while others described the sculpture as “the cutest thing ever,” “genius,” “blessed public art” and more.

“I walked by the two people building that when the doghouse was just taking shape. They were dedicated and focused. It was very cold!” one Twitter user wrote. “A little bit of joy in these dark times.”

As for the next sculpture, Kennedy said there’s a chance she’ll get inspired if we get some more snow.

“I tend to make them at the Point, so if you walk through there after a big snow, you’ll find out.”

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Megan Kennedy (left) and Alexandre Machado pose with the Snowpy they sculpted at Promontory Point in Hyde Park on Friday, Feb. 4, 2021.

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