Sculpting a Career
BY KIMBERLY KRATZ, CLASS OF 2011
Multi-media producer, world-class ice sculptor and artist Don Lowing began a journey when right out of high school he enrolled in the Chef Apprenticeship program at Bucks County Community College.
Already working in the restaurant business and interested in the creative arts, Lowing also signed on as a part-time art major. “I think at 18 years old, it’s the time to discover who you are and who you want to be. If you have an area that you are interested in as a discipline as a whole, you should start to explore that. For me that was the creative, the artistic.” Lowing said.
“A great influencer for me was Chef Earl Arrowood as a mentor and as my professor. Like any discipline, there are a range of possibilities. He’s really good at sharing the vision of what’s possible. He provided a lot of practical experience in a way that me and my classmates could understand.”
Lowing believes his professional successes have come from both hard work and discipline. He said, “One challenge that has followed my entire career is sculpture. 10 million pounds of ice and 20 years later, I am still practicing that skill that I learned in a class under Chef Arrowood.”
Perfection of the craft of ice sculpture requires a significant time commitment, but with it comes unique and challenging opportunities. “For me, that was participating in the World Championship Ice Sculpting competition in Alaska,” Lowing said.
There, teams of 4 people compete to sculpt 20 tons (“Volkswagen-size hunks of ice”) each in five and a half days. “I have taken a creative path all the way through my career even today, had an enormous amount of experience, and I’ve added education and skills.”
Lowing’s creativity comes from challenging his environment. To that end, he recently completed an accelerated Executive MBA program at St. Joseph’s University.
“This was a challenge for my mind. All of the other stuff was more of a physical challenge. Most people who go through the program have a business background. So, for me I’m shaking the whole thing up, looking to discover something new, bringing a creative lens to a business discipline. What I’m trying to do now is to blend the two together to make something unique but always on the creative side.”
Lowing works in multi-media at St. Joseph’s University developing its video, web, animation, film, print and graphic design. His advice to Bucks’ students: invest yourtime in education to discover who you are. You don’t have to know exactly where you want to be. “Bucks will help shape that. It helped shape it for me,” he said.