Neuro Presents Magnificent 7 Ice Carving Competition 5th Annual Ice Sculpting Competition at Discovery Green

December 21, 2012
by Kate Withall

Artists from around the country create masterpieces out of ice


HOUSTON, Texas (December 21, 2012) It’s that time of year again! Neuro presents Magnificent 7 Ice Carving Competition at Discovery Green on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 10 am - 5 pm with Stella Artois as the official beer sponsor. The event features seven acclaimed ice artists from around the country wielding chainsaws, blow torches, and razor sharp chisels to transform blocks of ice into amazing works of art in five hours. Thousands will make their way to Discovery Green to watch the carvers battle for cash prizes and the people’s choice award. This free event is a perfect outing for the entire family.

“Discovery Green is excited to bring this unique competition and top ice artists to Houston for the fifth year in a row,” Barry Mandel, Discovery Green Conservancy President, said. “The ice carving is only part of the fun; DJ CapsOne will provide music all day, Reverend Butter will host a special noon-time carving for kids and the day will end with a performance by Downfall 2012! Visitors can also enjoy a beverage out of hand sculpted ice mugs available in the afternoon.”

Park goers can participate in this year’s event by casting their vote for the People’s Choice Award on laptops arranged in the Neuro Lounge or by scanning a QR code with their smart phone. Top prizes will be awarded by a panel of experts including Houston sculptor Willy Wang.  Television screens in the Neuro Lounge will show time-lapse images of the icy creations, so you won’t miss a minute of the action.

Keeping with Discovery Green’s mission, the ice slabs are harvested from more than 1,500 gallons of recycled rainwater and the ice will be used to water the park’s landscaping following the competition. 

Schedule of events
  • 10 am: Ice carving begins
  • 12 pm: Reverend Butter takes the stage for a special kid-friendly carving
  • 3 pm: Judging begins
  • 4:15 pm: Awards Ceremony
  • 4:30 pm: Downfall 2012 and Reverend Butter Ice-off

The Magnificent 7 include:

Aaron Costic (Broadview Heights, OH)
Aaron Costic is a Certified Master Ice Carver and Certified Ice Carving Educator. He is the owner of Elegant Ice Creations and continues to compete in and judge at ice carving competitions. Along with many World Championships and National Titles, Costic has participated in three Cultural Olympic games, claiming gold at the 2006 Torino games, bronze in Nagano and fourth place in Salt Lake City. 

Buddy Rasmussen (San Antonio, TX)
A repeated winner of the Discovery Green Ice Sculpting competition, Rasmussen is a world class ice sculptor. He has competed in over 100 competitions, and is most proud of his National Championship in 1999, his involvement in the 2002 Cultural Winter Olympics, and his 3rd place win with Team Texas at the 2009 World Ice Sculpting Competition.

Danny Bloss (Niles, MI)
Bloss began his ice sculpting career in 2005. For the past seven years, he has created sculptures for special events at Notre Dame, where he also worked as a cook since 1989. His knowledge of ice sculpting comes from training with some of the best in the business. Bloss was the Michigan Ice Fight Champion from 2010 – 2012.

Steve Brice (Fairbanks, AK)
Brice began his career in ice sculpture in 1990 and has since become a N.I.C.A Certified Master Carver and 15 times World ice Skating Champion. Among numerous first, second, and third place wins throughout his career, he has also represented the United State in the Cultural Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Salt Lake City and Utah. He is the creator, designer and lead artist of the Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs Resort and is also an accomplished Bronze sculptor.

Heather Brice (Fairbanks, AK)
Originally a bronze and mixed media sculptor, Heather began her career in ice in 1999. She has since won six World Championships and numerous awards on the national level. She was chosen as an alternate for the 2006 Cultural Winter Olympic Ice Compeition in Turino. Alongside her husband and fellow ice sculptor, Brice worls at the Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs Resort near their home in Fairbanks, Alaska. They also operate Brice & Brice Ice Sculptors and raise their family of three teenagers.

Max Zuleta (Zion, IL)
Zuleta is a self-taught ice sculptor from Caracas Venezuela. He opened and successfully operated the first ice sculpting company in Venezuela from 1989 – 2001, and later travelled and competed extensively before opening another company, “Art Below Zero Inc” in Zion, Illinois in 2004. Known on stage as “Zice,” Zuleta has performed in a number of countries, each time creating a sculptor reflective of his celebrated artisanship and passion for ice sculpture.

Benjamin Rand (Abacoa, FL)
The Reigning N.I.C.A US National Champion, Rand has competed worldwide to much success. In 2014, he will represent the USA in Sochi, Russia at the Cultural Winter Olympics and previosly participated in the 2006 games in Turino and brought home gold from Vancouver in 2010. He graduated from an ACF Culinary apprenticeship in 2003 before beginning work for Styled Ice in south Florida.