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I am especially excited again this year to be a part of getting Hampton Beach back to what it is best known for after a tough 2020 and that is “Sand, Sun and Fun!” For over 21 years now we have been watching these Master Sculptors create amazing works of art in the sand. Using only limited hand tools, water and a lot of energy to entertain us and to be crowned the Best of the Best taking home a First Place Medal, and possibly your vote as People’s Choice which insures them a spot in next year’s event, or maybe a combined Grand Prize of $7,000.00! Please be sure to make yourself a part of the festivities by cheering on your favorite and voting on Saturday 1–3 pm. Thank you all for your continued support and please be sure to thank our sponsors who make this event possible year after year. For more information on this or your own sand event contact me at [email protected].
Laura Cimador-Gowdy comes from Castelfranco Veneto, Italy (near Venice). She has earned her masters degree in Modern Languages and speaks two languages fluidly, Italian and English. She is an elementary teacher in her hometown of Castelfranco Veneto. Laura also loves fine art and has taken painting instructions from a famous painter in Italy, Angelo Gatto. Her interest in the arts led her to the beaches of Jesolo, Italy in 2005 where she met her husband John Gowdy who was working there at a sand sculpting event. After communicating for many years, they married on the beach of Fort Myers, Florida in 2011.She fell in love with sand sculpture and now Laura and John have teamed up in the competitive world of sand sculpture. They have won many awards as a two person team in world class sand events in Cervia, Italy and Texas Sandfest 2019. In 2011 they won the nationally televised “Sand Wars” professional sand sculpting competition in Siesta Key, Florida. In 2020 John and Laura participated in a reality show called Race Against The Tide in New Brunswick, Canada. On April 18, 2018 Laura and John had the honor of being invited to the Vatican, Rome to personally meet Pope Francis and donate to him a sand sculpture which was carved inside Saint Peter’s Basilica. Every summer, as she has done the past fifteen years, she works with John at events up and down the eastern coast of the United States from Hampton Beach to Marco Island, Florida and many locations in between.
Hampton Beach 2020 Reigning Champion is no stranger to sand or winning. You could say it is in her blood coming from a family of artists and being a very spiritual person. “When my hands touch the material, when my heart opens to give life, when my head is illuminated by light, I become the co-creator of the universe. An artist is one who spiritualizes matter.” Her father is internationally renowned sculptor Guy Beauregard, and like her father, she has achieved international success. In fact, in 2004 the father-daughter duo teamed to win the World Championship in the doubles category. Since then she has won more than 30 individual awards. In 2013 she was Grand Champion of the first All Woman World Championship of Sand Sculpting in Florida and the World Cup Champion 2014 in the doubles category. “For me, art is a means of communication, a way to transmit the energy of life, to affirm its vastness and its beauty.” Other materials: snow and ice, since 1998. www.sculpturebeauregard.com
I remember watching Justin sculpting in sand what seemed like decades ago, oh wait it was, and wishing I could be like that! He’s been carving since 1974 and sculpting sand since 1978 during college summers. He started sculpting professionally in 1991 after a lay off from his engineering job. He now sculpts in ice, snow at ski areas, wood, including chain saw tree carvings for Story Land, wax for the jewelry industry and bronzes, foam, clay, stone, sand, pumpkins, and chocolate. Sand sculpting has taken Justin to Taiwan, Kuwait, Oman, the Caribbean, BC and Quebec, Canada, and throughout the US. Locally, Justin also does the 50 ton sand sculpture at the Topsfield Fair. He now concentrates mostly on carving custom clock cases, architectural carvings, fine sculptures, and period gun stocks. www.ElwinDesigns.com
New Hampshire native, Greg is a self-taught artist and a 2nd generation sand sculptor. What started as a hobby on summer vacations as a young child has turned into following in the footsteps of his father. Greg’s Irish luck would have him apprenticing under the world’s best sand sculptors, playing in the biggest of sand boxes, and traveling to beaches across the country. Greg’s passion for sand had turned into a career as a professional artist creating full time over the past decade. Greg has made sand sculptures for just about every event imaginable, from the simple but very important wedding proposal, to the largest of corporate events, to being a part of successful attempts at setting Guinness World Records. His creatively has expanded over the years to also working with other mediums such as snow, wood, foam, pumpkins and more. Together, Greg and his father have been bringing the “WOW” factor to hundreds of thousands of spectators here on Hampton Beach annually and events around the globe through the art of sand. Contact us for your own creation. “If you can dream it, we can sculpt it.”
Dan has been creating professional sand sculptures since 1990. He is honored to have learned from many pioneers of the art form, and now to get the privilege of collaborating with, and learning from a family of many of the best and most talented sand sculptors from around the World. During this time he has won 14 world Championship in the Team, Doubles, and Solos categories, and competed in scores of other contests and hundreds of professional projects across the country and around the world including Japan, China, Denmark, Italy, Australia, Great Britain and many other wonderful destinations. He loves the balance of the physical and creative sides of working with sand. He is also a Landscape Architect with a degree from Kansas State University. He has been a professional brewer, and has run a few marathons when his schedule allows.
John has been sculpting sand for over 30 years and has a sand sculpture company called “Sand Sculptures by John Gowdy & Company, LLC”. He has worked for many clients such as: The Travel Channel, Good Morning America, The Whitehouse Commission on Remembrance, NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Martha Stewart, Netflix, Pope Francis in the Vatican, to name a few…in 16 countries at last count.
“I believe you cannot stand still in the arts. You must keep evolving as an artist while experimenting with new ideas and and techniques. One medium or technique complements another. Always pressing forward with your eyes wide open, finding your own way. This is the life of a true artist.”
Your favorite last year and 3rd Place winner, Thomas had never expected to work in the sandbox for a living but has always felt an urge to do something artistic, creative, and technical like architecture or engineering. Soon after Thomas received his master’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering in the Netherlands a friend introduced him to sculpting sand. Immediately he was drawn to the medium and has since been a designer and sculptor for some of Europe’s and North America’s largest sand sculpting events. Thomas’ artistic goal is to make extraordinary sculptures with the highest quality possible. His ability and talent have taken him all over America and Europe as well as China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Qatar and Canada. Due to schedule conflicts, Thomas has been unable to attend in a long while but is very happy to be back in Hampton Beach this year. A fierce competitor, Thomas has won many first place, sculptor’s choice and other titles in contests worldwide. In 2010 he won the World Champion of Sand Sculpting. His World Champion win was a proud moment in his career. He has been sculpting for over 20 years. www.sandsational.com
Governor Sununu knew what he was doing when he chose Chris to return to Hampton this year. Chris is a pillar in our community of sculptors and I remember it like it was yesterday. Chris’s sculpture had collapsed and there was nothing but dust, then suddenly from nowhere there was a “Knock Knock.” I turned and answered the door, it was Chris holding his Dragon. Knowing it was one of the favorite things the Governor and his family loved, I beckoned him in. Having watched Chris develop his skills since appearing as a mere child in 1999, I too, knew he would be able to prevail after such a tragedy and watched as the Dragon evolved and became a legend to all that were there. Chris never ceases to amaze those whom have followed his footprints from his sculptures to helping those in need…visit https://www.facebook.com/
Karen has been creating sand sculptures for 27 years! She has no formal art training, but always loved sculpting in multiple mediums before she discovered sand. Her passion, curiosity and many incredible mentors lead her to embrace this unusual career. In 1998, she entered her first international sand sculpting contest and by 2001 she was working full-time as a free-lance sand sculptor. To date, Karen has competed in over 140 Masters Level International sand sculpture contests, winning 27 First Place Titles, as well as 5 World Championship titles. Her work takes her around the world, collaborating with friends, festivals and companies in Canada, the USA, Japan, Mexico, Italy, Holland, Spain, England, UAE, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia. Hampton Beach’s incredible hospitality, food (scallops), sand (10 out of 10!) and especially the friendly people, make it one of her favorite destinations! She is very honored to be a long-term member of the “Grady Bunch”! This will be her 18th year! www.sandqube.com
Abe first started appearing in the sand circuit here in the US a few years back, a quiet unassuming fellow, he quickly marched up the ranks and became the one to beat as well as a now feared, quiet unassuming fellow he is always willing to lend a helpful hand. He says of himself quote, “Abe Waterman was once from Prince Edward Island, Canada, but now wanders aimlessly, peering in at the absurdities of life, of which there are many, sand sculpture being a fine example.” Let’s all gather near the pile of sand he calls home this week at Hampton Beach and see what he shall bring to life.
For most of my life I’ve pursued that narrow line between public acceptance and pure expression, all the while adhering to the whims of a delicately balanced, often temperamental material, and its physical boundaries. I’ve striven to illustrate the profound changes, moments, and efforts of my own personal narrative, in a fashion that thinly veneers a true translation, while maintaining a familiarity to my audience. For me, the moment of its realization, combined with the raw, arduous nature of the art form itself, and the intimate connection with the vicarious viewer, redeems my connection to the creative spirit that underpins the definition of fine art. Carl D. www.artcleveland.com