Jef Schobert was nominated for People of Portage County because of his enthusiasm of snow and his famous snow sculptures he creates in his Stevens Point front yard.
Jef moved to Plover in 1970- he has lived in other states, but he likes Wisconsin best.
When he was a young child, he was in Michigan with his grandfather. His grandpa loved frogs.Jef remembers being bored one day and his grandfather told him to go outside and make something in the snow. So, he made a 3-foot-tall frog, he got some food coloring and dyed it green. Before he knew it, the local newspaper came over and took pictures.Little did anyone know that he would become an internet sensation because of his snow sculptures!
As a child he would build snow tunnels and forts. Whenhe was a teenager, he made race tracks out of the snow and neighborhood kids would come overdo competitions.
He started carving snow sculptures in the front yard when his daughter was about two. She was sick once and he wanted to help lift her spirits so he decided to go out in the yard by a windowand carve Mickey Mouse and other animal sculptures in the snow. People saw the sculptures and said, “why don’t you carve on the other side of the snow bank that’s facing the road”, so he did. It took him 6 years before he realized he was truly a sculpture. Jef has been sculpting for about 40 plus years now.
He is trying to give back to his community.
What makes you happy?
Fresh Air, clean water and soil that’s not contaminated by chemicals to grow food.
His children, his oldest son goes to college in Eau Claire and his nine-year-old daughter, who challenges him.
How does living in Portage County influence you?
Well, we have a lot of trees, every person needs over 400 trees to have air and a good quality of life. He grew up here, his wife’s family is from here. He has a lot of good connections in the community.
Where are you headed?
He is a disabled veteran, every year he feels like he's falling apart more and more. His snow sculptures are a type of physical therapy for himself, it’s a good way to move around, he says.
He writes songs and poetry and shares them around the world via the internet because he knows he's not going to be able to create snow art forever.
He believes he’s here for other people. When he was greedy and focused on himself, everything was taken away from him. Now, he is focused on the impact he has on other people and what happens from that.
Who’s your hero?
Stan Lee, he inspires him. He makes costumes after super hero characters and walks in the local parades. Plus, he's a fan of the comic books.
What can people from the community learn form you?
We can change our world. He does every day.
Do what you do in public, whatever art form that it is.
What is your most deeply held belief?
We are the earth.
Everything we need is invisible: love, air, water, the essence inside of food.
Re-cycle, re-use, re-purpose.
Do you prefer to donate time or money to those in need? Why?
He really doesn’t have the money to donate. He is a typical artist; he doesn’t make a ton of money. He believes when he goes outside and carves in the snow, he is donating his time to the community.
If someone was interested in raising money for a charity, he would come and carve something to use to attract people to come to that event.
He has a GoFundMe page- if you are interested in supporting his artistic efforts- you can donate at: