Alfred University News

Alumnus Eric Jones ’97 carves up some Halloween fun during Zoom workshop

Alfred University alumnus Eric Jones, who in September appeared on the Food Network’s popular “Halloween Wars,” was back on campus this week, demonstrating his artistic abilities as instructor for a virtual pumpkin-carving workshop attended by, among others, University President Mark Zupan.


ALFRED, NY – Alfred University alumnus Eric Jones, who in September appeared on the Food Network’s popular “Halloween Wars,” was back on campus this week, demonstrating his artistic abilities as instructor for a virtual pumpkin-carving workshop attended by, among others, University President Mark Zupan.

Jones ’97 attended Alfred University as an art and design major. After leaving Alfred, he began working as a graphic designer in Olean. Over the years, he has become an accomplished caricature artist and is now owner of his own company, where he draws caricatures for everyone from Hollywood celebrities to couples on their wedding days.

On Wednesday, Jones joined Zupan at the Community Table dining area in Powell Campus Center for a pumpkin carving and decorating workshop. The one-hour workshop was offered online via Zoom, with approximately 50 people, some of them Alfred University alumni, participating. Jones gave a demonstration on creatively carving and decorating pumpkins. Those joining from home followed along in carving their own pumpkins; Zupan worked alongside Jones in carving his Halloween creation.

Jones has some experience in using his creativity to transform pumpkins into art. In addition to being a competitor on “Halloween Wars,” which began airing on Food Network Sept. 13, he has carved pumpkins on popular television programs such as The Today Show.

In the Halloween Wars series, now in its 10th season, six teams of three—a pumpkin carver, a cake artist, and a sugar/pastry artist—compete for prizes. The six-episode show, which has aired on Sundays, concludes this weekend. Jones’ team, dubbed “Team Crave Diggers,” also consists of cake artists Jeff Taylor and sugar/pastry artists Joel Gonzalez.

After Wednesday’s workshop, two lucky youngsters received a surprise Halloween treat. Alfred University Information Technology Services staffers Dan Hausman, Learning Spaces technical specialist, and Dan Clark, audio/visual technician, were on hand to assist in the production of the Zoom meetings. Jones presented the carvings he had created—including the one he made during the workshop—to Hausman’s daughter, Adeline (3), and Clark’s daughter, Olivia (5), both big fans of Halloween Wars program.

Adeline had participated in the Zoom workshop and after Hausman got home from Wednesday evening, he woke her up and gave her the pumpkin. Needless to say, she was more than a little excited.

“She’s a huge fan of Halloween Wars. That’s her show,” Hausman said. “It really made the holiday for us, with there being no trick-or-treat this year. Eric really went above and beyond.”

In the photo above, Adeline Hausman is all smiles as she shows off the pumpkin carving given to her by Eric Jones, an Alfred University alumnus and recent participant on the Food Network’s “Halloween Wars.”