By no means thoughts that crap about “when life provides you lemons.” When life provides you snow — snow at a degree that’s by no means been skilled in Austin (and most of Texas) earlier than – you make a snow sculpture.

… and it went wherever fish do go. (Picture courtesy of Jake Cordero)

Hell, you may’ve made a rudimentary snowperson your self previously few days, proper, only for the sheer novelty of it?

However in case you’re Albert Lucio, one half of that arcane Austin Seance duo, who additionally occurs to be an expert sand sculptor, you go forward and make a complete funerary tableau: A memorial to a useless pet fish, a memorial that includes a sensible gravestone atop an equally sensible plinth of stones and, hovering over the entire shebang, a robed and spectral determine that has no face the place a face ought to be.

We’ve beforehand reported on Lucio’s Austin Seance gigs, sure, however little did we suspect that the person’s additionally an expert sand sculptor. Which is why he has the abilities to work so successfully with that fluffy white stuff that fell from the massive Texas sky this week.

So, listening to of this outstanding creation and the person who made it, your crack staff of Austin Chronicle journos get in contact with him ASAP. And the very first thing we have to know: “Skilled sand sculptor? OK, dude, maintain on. WTF does skilled imply on this context?”

Lucio smiles, brightening the room like a all of a sudden materialized candle at a gathering of mystics. “I get invited to go and compete across the U.S.,” he tells us. “Folks fly me out to construct large sand sculptures, for each non-public and public occasions. The truth is, Texas has one of many greatest sand occasions within the nation, and I’m one of many coordinators for that.”

Coloration us gobsmacked.

Typically you scratch a person who’s deeply into the American historical past of spiritualism and its trappings, and what you discover is just not, ew, an outpouring of ectoplasm … however a complete subculture of artistic expression that boasts an economically thriving ecosystem.

(Word: We’ll be trying into this additional, in a later difficulty. Brenner’s on it.)

And so however this fish memorial? What’s all that about?

“We had a betta that handed away about two months in the past,” says Lucio. “We discovered it simply kinda floating in its bowl. And we put it in just a little matchbox and buried it out within the entrance yard. After which, once I was beginning this snow sculpture, I believed, ‘Y’know, it’d be sort of humorous – as a result of no person makes these grand memorials for a fish who’s handed away – normally they get unceremoniously thrown into the trash or flushed down the bathroom – it’d be humorous to have a giant memorial for the little man.’ That is the second time I’ve carried out snow – since that is the second time it’s snowed in Texas. So I simply put my, ah, we name it a pound-up? That’s if you refill your kinds with, normally, sand and water. So I constructed up the fundamental kinds, after which, once I began carving, I made a decision what I used to be gonna do.”

Which is: Create a frozen memorial for a dearly departed betta named Sir Francis.

And, look, we’re not suggesting anybody drive by Lucio’s home to see the factor – it’s nonetheless quite ice-and-slush harmful on the market proper now, folks – and perhaps the artwork’s gone all melty, apart from? – however we’re posting this text with a picture of the sculpture, as offered by Lucio’s partner-in-mysticism, Jake Cordero. We’re posting it by the use of “probably clearing the palate,” as Cordero put it, “of what in any other case has been some unrelenting grim information about Snowmageddon 2021.”

Rattling proper, brother. And a belated R.I.P. to you, Sir Francis.

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