ALAMOSA — Champion ice carvers will again be a part of the Alamosa Ice Fest, which begins this afternoon in downtown Alamosa.
Aesthetic Ice, a “state of the art” ice sculpture company based in Denver, is sending four award-winning sculptors.
Chainsaws in hand, they will be tackling big blocks of ice to create sculptures of amazing quality over the two-day period of the second annual ice festival, Jan. 14-15.
The theme this year is “Into the Wild.” Planned sculptures include a horse, a trout, and, sponsored by Adams State College, a grizzly bear. There will be six sculptures along Main Street.
New this year will be three snow sculptures, one at the Welcome Center, one at Hunt and Main and the third at Edison and Main.
The ice sculptors include Craig Winter, a member of the National Ice Carving Association, the American Culinary Federation and the Professional Chefs Association. He is one of the owners of Aesthetic Ice.
A chef instructor at the Art Institute for more than 10 years, he directs the pastry degree program.
Winter has received medals in many local and national ice carving competitions. He has also been honored for his snow carvings.
A native of Denver, executive chef Robert Meitzer is also grounded in the culinary arts.
Chef Meitzer is currently the executive chef at Red Rocks Country Club, and co-owner of Aesthetic Ice.
Chef Meitzer is a member of the National ice Carving association and has won awards at both ice and snow carving.
Ian Kunter is a graduate of the Art Institute of Colorado with an associate degree in culinary studies.
Kunter is the banquet chef at Brittany Hills in Denver but makes time for work with the Aesthetic Ice crew. He also gives demonstrations of ice carving for students at the Art Institute.
Michael Pizzuto is a member of The National Ice Carving Association and has been the director of education for NICA for 13 years.
He is certified to judge both NICA and American Culinary Federation competitions.
Pizzuto studied ice sculpting for three years in Tokyo Japan.
He was the first USA team captain to International competitions at Asahikawa, Japan in 1987, 1988, and 1989, winning second place and most artistic second place Karizawa, Japan 1994.
Pizzuto has two ice carving books to his credit and is an acknowledged master of the art.
The Ice Fest kicks off in downtown Alamosa at 4 p.m. Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturday.