KEY WEST, Florida Keys — High-energy creativity, unique “art supplies” and playful beachside fun characterize the International Sand Art Competition, set to provide an intriguing experience for spectators over Thanksgiving weekend in Key West.
Visitors can watch nine leading U.S. and international sand sculptors construct and display large-scale creations Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 21-25, on the Atlantic Ocean beach at Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, at 1500 Reynolds St.
Scheduled competitors are Jakub Zimacek from the Czech Republic; champion sculptor Joo Heng Tan of Singapore; international award winner Fergus Mulvany of Ireland; Canadian-born master Abe Waterman; defending champion Morgan Rudluff of San Francisco, California; competition veteran Dan Belcher of St. Louis, Missouri; Boston, Massachusetts’ Deborah Barrett-Cutulle; and husband-and-wife team Adam Russell and Kelly Lever, Key West residents and sculptors of functional pottery who are turning to the medium of sand.
According to competition organizer Marianne van den Broek, owner of Key West’s Just Sand And Water LLC, each entrant is to receive approximately 7 tons of sand. They have four days to craft their sculptures out of only sand and water, using hand tools such as trowels and brushes but no electric tools, molds or glue.
Visitors can observe the artists at work on their beachside creations from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 21-23, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Viewing is free.
As well as watching the sculptures take shape, spectators can search the sand to compete for artwork, spa services, water sports adventures, gift certificates to Key West restaurants and more at the event’s annual Treasure Dig. The dig is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23.
Kids and adults also can create their own sand artistry in a designated area.
Judging is to take place Saturday afternoon after the sculptors put the final touches on their work. In addition, spectators can cast votes for the coveted People’s Choice Award. Winners are to be announced at a 5 p.m. ceremony.
Event information: sandartkeywest.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY