Thursday, September 4, 2014


      It's Labor Day 2014, and I'm heading over to the Broadway Pier on the 9:30 am ferry. It's always a treat to ride the boat between Coronado and downtown San Diego, however, today it is particularly special because I'm going to visit one of the “ten best sand sculpting competitions in the world.”
     The US Sand Sculpting Challenge & 3D-Art Experience is normally held on Labor Day weekend at the B Street Pier in San Diego; this is the 4th and last day of the event. It consists of two levels of competition: World Masters, which are the best from around the world, and local teams. The first day was Friday, which would have been interesting; that's when they begin carving their masterpieces from large blocks of hard sand from river banks. They finish one day later. It's hard to believe they can accomplish these works of art in such a short time.
By Kirk Rademaker
      I first observed the Shoo-B-Doo-B-Doo sculpture near the entrance. The artist, Kirk Rademaker, is known as the Sand Guy and is one of the stars of Sand Masters on the Travel Channel. He is a local, and is often seen at the Coronado beach where he produces sandcastles in front of the historic Hotel Del Coronado.
By JOOheng Tan

      I continued my walk along the pier to see all of the masterpieces including the 2014 winners. The First Place masterpiece was titled, “Seed” or “Anything that provides Imagination for later work.” The artist, JOOheng Tan, is from Singapore. His works, showcased in 50 cities in 20 countries, have won numerous awards. The London Daily Mail refers to him as the Vincent Sand Gogh.

By Sue McGrew

      The second place winner was awarded to the sculpture, “Triquetra.” by Sue McGrew an American artist. She is also featured on the Travel Channel's Sand Masters. The sculpture is in the shape of a triangle with three large peepholes that depict a woman in various stages of her life: young, middle-aged and old. The following statement, that Sue wrote in long hand, was hanging in the wind near her work of art:
To those looking in, life is a mystery that can never by seen in full except by ourselves. Each day is just a sliver, a window into a stage of our life. We can try to freeze that moment in time with a picture, but it hardly captures the instant.”

By Melineige Beauregard

      The third place honor was given to “Peace of Mind,” by Melineige Beauregard. She is a world famous artist from Canada who won 2nd place at the 2013 Sand Sculpting Challenge. She describes her art as “a means of communication, a way to transmit the energy of life, to affirm its vastness and its beauty.”

We need a bigger boat
By John Gowdy
      The winner of the People's Choice award was called We need a bigger boat by John Gowdy. John is a retired fire captain from New Jersey who is now living in Italy. He is internationally acclaimed as an artist in several medias.
      I continued walking along the pier, enjoying all ten master works and the many team sculptures. At the end of the pier, there's a lovely view of Coronado and the bay with many boats passing by on this popular holiday weekend. In addition, I had the pleasure of seeing two tall ships: American Pride-USA and America-USA, from the nearby Festival of Sail—shooting their cannons directly in front of me.
      In addition to the sculptures, a festive atmosphere prevails here with live music, dozens of food vendors and art booths. I noticed the crowds increasing as the day went on—I was glad that I arrived early to avoid the lines.
      Afterwards, I walked about six blocks to enjoy a cup of coffee in the air conditioned Starbuck's, located at the Headquarters. This is the old police department complex that was renovated and reopened in 2013. It has become one of my favorite places to stop for coffee because of the location and surrounding architecture.



By Helena Bangert

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