M.L. Snowden has been surrounded by sculpture since she was a child. From the age of four, she played in her father’s sculpture studio, watching him with the unwavering attention of a child enthralled and enchanted. An accomplished sculptor and long time professor of the arts at Yale University, George Holburn Snowden began formally teaching his daughter when she was only seven years old.
Part of that heritage comes through the original sculpting tools of Rodin, which have been passed from mentor to protégé for three generations. The tools, some of which Snowden uses in sculpting her own works, are a symbol for her of the awe-inspiring foundation upon which her work is based. They provide a physical connection with the artistic inheritance that has been passed down to her.
Snowden’s own devotion to sculpture is manifest in the numerous awards that she has been granted for her work. At the age of 36, she received the inaugural Alex Ettl Grant from the National Sculpture Society for "Lifetime Achievement in American Sculpture". In 1992, she was awarded the world’s most prestigious sculpture prize — the International Rodin Competition Special Grand Prize — for her sculpture "Cataclasis". Early in her career, she was awarded post-graduate study grants to the Vatican Collections in Rome, the Uffizi in Florence, Italy and the Louvre in Paris.
Her current body of work, which began with “Tectonics” in 1989, follows a geological theme. Each piece humanizes the forces of nature that contribute to the formation and evolution of our Earth. Snowden’s sculptural genius evidences itself in her ability to personify these forces and allow the viewer to intuitively understand phenomena that are otherwise only accessible as abstract geological science. In these works, she also communicates the nobler side of man’s endeavors and issues a call to humanity, challenging us to recognize certain truths that are universal to all creation — whether they are organic or geological in nature.