The Magnificent 7 Artists
Max "Zice" Zuleta (featured in photo above; Zion, Illinois) winner of the 2012 Magnificent 7 Ice Carving Competition is self-taught, originally from Caracas, Venezuela where he opened and successfully operated the first ice sculpting company in the country from 1989 until 2001. In the pursuit of not being the only one but one of the best in the world, he and his partner Jeanne Koivunen-Zuleta then spent three years traveling, sculpting ice, developing an artistic and edgy ice sculpting technique, sharing experiences and ideas with master sculptors all over Europe, Canada, South America and the U.S. When the time presented itself, in 2004, “Art Below Zero Inc.” was founded in Zion, Illinois. Since then, the company has been serving not only the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor, but Max, stage name “Zice” has performed in Hong Kong, Kuwait and has earned several prestigious awards, including at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, 1st place at Winterlude in Ottawa, Canada and at the Ice Hotel in Quebec, and many others. Max’s masterful creations are reflective of his celebrated artisanship and great passion for ice as his chosen medium. As an artist, he is among those uniquely aligned to his soul’s purpose. Other highlights of Max's master artwork have been displayed from Ice Pagodas in the oil fields of Venezuela, royal ice thrones in Lake Forest, Illinois, to a 20-ton and 30-feet tall replica of a Spanish Basilique in Germany. Max is ranked among the top ice sculptors in the world. His acclaimed and award-winning ice sculptures have been featured in competitions and exhibitions in Alaska, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Holland, Mexico and Venezuela. Max regularly dialogues with many of the world’s great ice sculptors providing for a continuous exchange of ideas, tools and techniques to remain at the avant garde in ice sculpting worldwide. His ice performance company, “Ice Beat Factory,” is a merge of frozen masterpieces and live/original concert. ALL Performance Art!
Heather Brice (Fairbanks, Alaska) is a six-time World Ice Sculpting Champion. Originally a bronze and mixed media sculptor, Heather began her career in ice in 1999. Heather has won six Gold medals, three Silver and four Bronze medals in the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska. She finished 1st place with NICA (National Ice Carving Association) Gold Medal Scores in 2002 and 2007 and 2nd in 2008 in the Ice Magic competition in Lake Louise, Alberta. Heather has won three NICA silver medals competing at Nationals in Downer's Grove, Illinois and took 1st and 2nd place from the 'Christmas In Ice competition' North Pole Alaska 2009 and 2008. Heather was chosen as an alternate for the Turino, Italy 2006 Olympic Ice Competition where she represented the United States and has traveled to Germany and Austria for exhibitions and commission projects. Heather works alongside her partner and husband, Steve Brice, at the Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska near their home in Fairbanks. Together, they operate Brice & Brice Ice Sculptures along with raising their family of three teens. Heather continues to do bronze and wood sculptures.
Steve Brice (Fairbanks, Alaska) is a NICA Certified Master Carver and 15-time World Ice Sculpting champion. Originally a stone and bronze sculptor, Steve started his career in ice sculpture in 1990. He has since won 15 Gold Medals in Fairbanks, Alaska's World Ice Art Championships, five second and four third place titles. He has traveled worldwide for exhibitions and competitions taking first and gold in Pello, Finland in 1999; World Championship in Bokrijk, Belgium in 2000 earning another World Championship title; and in Lake Louise, Alberta in 2002 and 2007, 2nd place in 2008. Steve has won many NICA-sanctioned Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards. Steve has also won three consecutive United States Olympic Ice Sculpting Trials where he went on to represent the United States in Nagano, Japan in 1998, Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002, and Turino, Italy in 2006.
Steve is the Creator, Designer, and Lead Artist of the Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Hot Springs Resort. The Aurora Ice Museum was originally created in 2004 and again in 2005. It is the only year-round Ice Hotel/Museum in the World and has gained worldwide media coverage. In addition to sculpting ice, Steve also creates sculptures in Bronze, and is an inventor, having created more than 300 tools for the ice sculpting trade, many used by sculptors worldwide.
Aaron Costic (Broadview Heights, Ohio) has been a fellow carver since 1998. He is the owner of Elegant Ice Creations, provider of Ice Carvings, Knowledge & Tools. A four-time National Champion - 1998, 2001, 2006, 2010 -- and the only carver to win the Realistic & the Abstract events in Fairbanks in the same year. Aaron has participated in three Olympic games: 1998 Nagano, Japan - Bronze; 2002 Salt Lake City- Fourth; and 2006 Torino, Italy - Gold.
Benjamin Rand is the 2012 U.S. National Ice carving champion and the 2010 Gold Medalist in the Olympic Ice Art World Championships.
Buddy Rasmussen (San Antonio, TX) is a World Class Ice Sculptor. He is the 1999 Winner of the National Ice Sculpting Championship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 2002, he competed in the Winter Olympics in Utah for Ice Sculptors as a cultural event. In 2009, Buddy received 3rd place in the World Ice Sculpting Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska with Team Texas. Buddy has competed in approximately 100 competitions over the last 20 years, all fantastic, but he is most proud of the ones listed above.