Artist Creates Delightful Polar Bear Snow Sculptures that also Highlight Climate Change


Photos by Robert Brashear.

Artist Heide Hatry has been making snow sculptures in Central Park that have caught the eye of many Upper West Siders.

They show polar bear families in various montages, sometimes with signs highlighting the threats that those animals — and all of us — face because of climate change. They are mostly placed in the West 80s, including several at the 86th Street entrance to the park on the West Side. They have signs on them that say things like “Let Us Chill” or “Mommy What’s a Carbon Footprint?” One even has a polar bear clutching a guitar.

But just as climate change is an existential threat, the polar bears are quickly melting away. So get out and see them soon!

We’ve reached out to Hatry on what inspired her but have not yet heard back. Her Instagram account has some more details. “They made lots of people smile, and I hope we realize that they need our help to survive the upcoming decades,” she wrote on one, encourgaing people to donate to Polar Bears International.

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A post shared by Heide Hatry (@heidehatry)

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A post shared by Heide Hatry (@heidehatry)

OUTDOORS | 14 comments | permalink
    1. D-Rex says:

      The attention to detail is great (such as the texture to mimic fur)

      Thanks for sharing!

    2. Paul says:

      Saw those yesterday, very cute, very cool.

      But can I suggest, for those interested in showing what we can really accomplish? Next big storm, in the Sheep Meadow, rather than a bunch of free standing snow men at random intervals,

      how about y’all get together and build a mini Stonehenge?

      Now THAT would be cool!

      • David B Smith says:

        First of all, “y’all” is not really used by us here in NYC. “You guys (or “youse” is also accepted if you are from Brooklyn or Queens, and “you lot” is okay if you’re Bri-ish.”

        Nobody in NYC wants a Stonehenge. Sorry, not really part of our culture. Polar bears, at least, are animals we can relate to (R.I.P. Gus the Polar Bear.)

        • Liam says:

          Why on Earth are you chastising the way someone speaks? Just because someone talks different than you doesn’t make you right and them wrong.

        • Josh says:

          I use “y’all” all the time (once upon a time, ironically, now just because), and as a lifelong UWS-er, I would adore a Stonehenge in snow/ice. (I’m refraining from expressing how I truly feel about your comment/you so as to better the chance of this being included.)

        • Ken says:

          You make me want to move out of here. As if we don’t have enough to worry about in this neighborhood, and on such a cute post. Pathetic. I get that you’re bored, and I hope this post made you justify your life and place in it.

    3. Mel Miller says:

      I have almost no “followers” on Facebook, but when I pasted this onto my page, people were sharing it all over the place,

      Giving joy through art has that efect.

    4. Hope Reiner says:

      The artist is an inspiration to us all

    5. Ann says:

      Heide – your snow bears are absolutely, positively, 100% delightful — and for such an important cause. Wish I still lived on the Upper West Side in NYC so I could see these treasures in person. Thank you for bringing a smile to the heart.

    6. Sue says:

      Snowlar Bears!

    7. Aida Espinoza says:

      Our first born daughter was nicknamed
      Bear .. so any time we see a bear our hearts
      melt. (she passed away from Ovarian Cancer
      8 years ago)
      Thank you for allowing us great laughter and
      joy.

    8. Janet Restino says:

      Bravo Heide!
      I love that you are creating these bear snow sculptures !
      I hope they are still there on this thurs when i will be in the neighborhood. If not ill be on the lookout the next snow nearby.

    9. Sharon Fagan says:

      I love you for doing this. First of all–how beautiful these polar bear sculptures are. Second, yes, they bring a smile. And third: so glad you’re reminding us all how important this work on the global climate crisis is. We need to be caring stewards of this world! Thank you!!

    10. Snow great that you did this Heide!
      Worthy cause, worthy artist!!
      And snow charming!!!