Ice Carving Exhibition offers a chance to chill out, have fun

Kristen Kotz

Ice Carving Exhibition

Where: Home Savings Plaza, corner of Water St. and Main St. in Downtown Kent

When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday, feb. 9

Cost: Free

Chips will be falling off the ice block this Saturday as people from Kent State and Akron universities will participate in the fifth annual Standing Rock Ice Carving Exhibition in Kent.

“It’s a very unique experience,” said Jeff Ingram, executive director of Standing Rock Cultural Arts. “You get to see a piece of artwork created before your eyes.”

Ingram said between six and 10 participants will carve 10 blocks of ice weighing about 200 pounds each. The blocks of ice, purchased from Serve Ice in Akron, will be transported to the exhibition site using a truck and dolly. The exhibition will allow people to witness the intricate process of ice carving.

Before they begin carving, sculptors will draw what they plan to create. A demonstrator will then begin carving the ice blocks using chainsaws. As the carvings become more intricate, the sculptors will start using chisels and hammers to finish their sculptures.

While warmer weather won’t inhibit the sculptors’ ability to carve the ice, it can still impact the exhibition.

“It is only a problem as far as how long the sculptures last,” Ingram said. “Last year the sculptors carved them and they lasted for three weeks.”

The sculptures will be left for people to see until they melt.

John Goehler, assistant director of dining services, will be one of the sculptors at the exhibition. He has been carving ice for 28 years. He started ice sculpting at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, where he carved for restaurants in the town.

Goehler said he enjoys the sense of freedom he gets from ice carving.

“It gives you a chance to express yourself and use lots of power tools,” he said.

One sculpture takes about an hour to complete, but some may take longer if they are more intricate.

“It depends on how difficult (the sculpture) is,” Goehler said.

Admission to the exhibition is free, but guests can make donations to Standing Rock Cultural Arts.

Contact all correspondent Kristen Kotz at [email protected].