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Sharpen your ice pics

Faculty and staff holiday party Tuesday, Dec. 20

Science and Engineering Library sculptors (from left) Saraphine Goodwin, Melissa Theroux and Rebecca Mitchell with their ice sculpture

’Tis the season for Boston University’s annual faculty and staff Holiday Party. The gathering, on Tuesday, December 20, is not only an opportunity to catch up with colleagues, but also a chance to show off your office’s ice sculpting skills. Traditionally, the focal point of the holiday party is the ice sculptures, hand-carved by faculty and staff.

The festivities, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the GSU’s Metcalf Hall, will feature the theme Celebrating a Change of Seasons, which is offered as a guide for the sculptors. “We wanted to choose a theme that would incorporate the changes at the University, specifically with the new president,” says Julie York, who is helping to organize the event for the Office of Human Resources. “The theme is pretty vague, so it gives the teams a lot of flexibility.”

Carving tools and a 11’’ x 22’’ x 42’’ block of ice will be provided to participants for carving on Monday, December 19. Facilities accommodating 10 teams of 5 people each will be available from 5 to 8 p.m. at the loading dock at 808 Commonwealth Avenue. Teams need not bring carving experience, just a drawing to scale of what they want their sculpture to look like. Professionals from the Brookline Ice Company will use a chain saw to assist with the initial cuts, but will leave the details to the teams.

York stresses that no skill is needed to participate in the contest — teams will have plenty of assistance from the professionals. “We want this to be fun for people,” she says. “The traditional ice sculpting contest is nice because creating an ice sculpture seems impossible, but it’s great to create something with a team and have it on display for all your colleagues to see.”

Holiday Party attendees will vote for the best ice sculpture, with a ballot box in front of each sculpture. BU vice presidents, deans, and department directors will serve as official judges, ranking sculptures based on criteria such as originality, artistic composition, and relevance to the theme. One team could capture both the popular and judges’ vote, but it is also possible for two different teams to win. Last year, contestants from the Office of Financial Assistance won the popular vote with their entry, Frosty Is Your Daddy, and contestants from the Office of Disability Services won the judges’ vote with their entry, Singing Joy. Every member of the winning team will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Barnes and Noble BU bookstore.

To participate in the ice sculpting contest, teams must register online by 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 13. For additional information, contact Britt Hoglund at bhoglund@bu.edu or at 617-358-7000.

Shuttle buses will leave from the BU Medical Campus at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and return from the GSU at 4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.