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Meet Max Zuleta, the man turning ice into art around Milwaukee

Ice sculpting is no joke a cold business – just ask Guiness World Record holder Max Zuleta. Zuleta is a career ice sculptor and his work has taken him to competitions and events all across the world. His newest studio is right here in Wisconsin, and he’s carving interactive ice sculptures all over Milwaukee.

Listen to the audio story below to meet Max Zuleta, the owner of an ice sculpting business called Art Below Zero.

Zuleta is originally from Venezuela where he owned the only ice sculpting business for 12 years. In search of a bigger market, he ventured up north to Zion, Illinois first before settling into his new studio in Racine, Wisconsin.

You may have already seen Zuleta’s work around the Third Ward. He’s behind the ice bars that have popped around the city. In fact, his Guiness World Record is for the longest ice bar. He built the 204-foot-long ice bar in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Over the weekend, his team brought 14 sculptures to Oak Creek’s second annual Winter Festival. Zuleta created interactive ice sculptures and an ice bar for festival-goers. He made a proud-looking Bucky Badger, an iPhone, and a ice block graffiti wall for visitors to tag.

Kids lined up in the Drexel Town Square to carve their initials into the ice wall. Across the town square, Zuleta and his team began assembling a 12-foot ice horse. Each ice block weights about 300 pounds and the horse was broken up into 14 different pieces.

Zuleta sawed through the ice, making his own personal snow shower. Families quickly gathered around in awe of the team’s work. “I like to get people’s attention,” said Zuleta. “Once we get them I don’t want them to leave until the sculpture is done.”

And they don’t. Kids couldn’t take their eyes off of Zuleta’s work. By the end of the day, they carved a crystal clear and detailed horse.