18 October, 2019, 23:01

Food Network’s Halloween Wars to feature Tucson artist (& his impressive carving skills)

Watch Harper and his team compete on Halloween Wars at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, September 29.

Tucson multimedia sculpture artist Matt Harper will appear on Food Network’s Halloween Wars.

The show features host Jonathan Bennett and contestants competing to show off their edible Halloween-themed displays. The episode Road to Halloween Wars shows off the new batch of pumpkin carvers, cake artists, and sugar artists competing in the new Halloween Wars season.

A panel of celebrity guest judges chooses the winner, who takes home a prize of $50,000.

A vice president of business development for an AI software company by day, Harper carves pumpkins intricately at night when it’s pumpkin season.

“I carved every year since I was a kid doing typical jack o’ lanterns,” Harper said. “In the past five years, I started a more concerted effort to have them recognizable.”

While Harper has a background working with clay, metal, stone, and wood, he recently began gravitating towards produce.

“What I always strive to do is to have them have a personality and be expressive,” Harper said. “It always lends itself to being a human head. The size and shape helps me determine what I’m going to carve.”

Harper didn’t actually apply to be a contest on the show, however.

“My family and I started watching Halloween Wars years ago,” Harper said. “I’m humble, but my kids would say, ‘Dad, you can carve better than that.’ They sent my name [to apply for the show] without me knowing.”

To Harper’s surprise, he received an email and call from a casting person.

Mat Harper and Beth Townsend on Halloween Wars

Mat Harper and Beth Townsend on Halloween Wars (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

Watch Harper and his team compete on Halloween Wars at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, September 29.

Keep up with Matt Harper on Instagram.

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.

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