Minneapolis artist turning snow piles into works of art

Where most of us only see a big pile of snow, Dan Kelly sees a blank canvas.

"I call it 'bomb the banks'. It's legal graffiti. It's cathartic. It gets me outside. I like to be outside," said Kelly, while painting a large snow bank near Shady Oak Beach in Minnetonka.

Every week or so, this former illustrator uses his imagination to turn a common sight of the season into a work of art.

Instead of a brush, Kelly uses makeshift sprayers, and instead of paint, he uses a mixture of water and food coloring to draw giant-sized faces, usually of the abominable snowman, on snow banks.

"I saw the mounds that the snow plows leave, and I thought it looks like the abominable snowman's head. All you have to do is put a face on it," said Kelly.

Kelly says he started drawing on snow banks a few years ago as something to brighten up the winter doldrums.

Since then, he's created about 100 faces around town to give passersby a reason to smile.

"It looks like actual characters popping out of the snow. People with kids love it. Every time they go by, the kids laugh and point at it and get a big kick out of it, said Kelly.

Kelly knows his seasonal street art is temporary.

His masterpieces only last until the next time it snows. 

But he says their fleeting nature makes them even more special and he believes they leave a lasting impression.

"It's legal, so I can't get in trouble for it, so not going to jail, so probably do it until I die," said Kelly.

You can check out pictures of Kelly's snow bank art on Instagram by clicking here.