Meet the Sand Sculpture Contestants

Greg Grady - Organizer and Founder

Hampton, NH

Exciting news for this our 24th year, 4 new competitors will be joining us and with over 50 years combined experience my son Greg J Grady, otherwise known as G2 in the circuit, will be in the cockpit helping navigate this year’s adventure making it bigger and better than ever before! Thank you to all our sponsors who make this world class event possible that for years has brought joy and amazement to folks of all ages and just keeps getting better every season. Be sure an vote for your favorite on Saturday 1-3pm if you want to see them return! Contact me at [email protected] or 603-548-6002 to sponsor or have your own sand creation or event. May the Beach be with you!

Abe Waterman

PEI, Canada

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. He says he has been producing artwork since he was “old enough to hold crayons and use each of his diapers as a fresh canvas.” Waterman uses ephemeral materials in his sculptures, such as snow and sand, and only occasionally creates more permanent works in wood and stone. He has traveled from coast to coast in Canada and the U.S., competing and exhibiting his art, for which he has won awards at numerous events. “Keep an eye peeled for my patented leaning on a shovel technique, my carve-everything-three times habit, my disgruntled grunts, my sighs of defeat and my wild finish as I try to win over audiences and judges alike on his ever arduous, but mostly spastic, trail to glory,” Waterman said.

Karlis ILE

Riga, Latvia

A professional sculptor from Latvia since 1995.  He works with various materials; bronzes steel, granite, wood, and recently ice, snow and sand, because he “likes how the primeval force of these natural materials along with the magic of the moment makes energy vibrate.” Karlis holds numerous gold medals from international festivals in many countries, Russia, Switzerland, Finland, China, Japan, Lithuania, the USA, Canada, Germany and
his home country of Latvia.

Melineige Beauregard – 2023 People’s Choice and 1st Place

Captain Cook, Hawaii

Being the runt of litter and from a family of sculptors, Melineige has been constantly vying for that number one position. After finally clawing her way to the top of the sand sculpting food chain, winning in almost all the known events across the globe, she and her boyfriend now offer their combined 40 years’ experience creating works of art for an array of clientele around the globe in over 20 countries and counting. One to keep an eye on as she is here to win and retain her title as your favorite!

Karen Fralich

Ontario, Canada

Karen has been creating sand sculptures for 30 years. She has no formal art training but spent a lot of time playing and working in a local pottery studio as a teenager. Her passion (stubbornness), curiosity (relentless questioning) and many incredible mentors (reluctant coworkers) lead her to embrace this unusual career.

In 1998, she entered her first international professional sand sculpting contest (failed miserably) and by 2001 she was working full-time as a free-lance sand sculptor. She specializes in cute, whimsical and fantasy themes, but she loves a challenge! To date, Karen has competed in over 160  Professional Level International sand sculpture contests, winning 30 First Place Titles, as well as 5 World Championship titles (Heck, yeah!). Her work takes her around the world, travelling and sculpting in 15 Countries, so far. She is very proud to be a part of the “Grady Bunch” once again! Fun Facts: Karen has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and enjoys playing any sport! She is also a mega-nerd, loves any board game or card game and is obsessed with Dune and Star Wars.

David Ducharme

British Columbia, Canada

In 2003, David took part in the World Championship of Sand Sculpture held in Harrison, BC. This event marked a turning point in his career as he met a number of talented sculptors leading to opportunities for international competitions and commissions. Since then, he’s journeyed across the globe, joining various sand, ice, and snow sculpting events alongside a community of amazing artists.

Bruce Phillips

San Diego, California

Bruce has been involved in the art of sand sculpting for over 30 years. He has created sand sculptures at festivals and competitions from Japan to the Netherlands and Canada to Columbia. His sculpting style leans towards the abstract side but enjoys all facets of sculpting in sand. In addition to sand Bruce is a fabricator for other artists. He brings their concepts to life from small to very large in a wide variety of materials. Some of these sculptures even seem to fly like the sculpture the “angel” that is hanging 20’ up in the air in the main train station in Zurich, Switzerland. Bruce says he has enjoyed watching sand sculpting evolve into a major performing arts attraction. And performance is what he’s all about. Because some of the other media that he’s involved in are steel, iron, aluminum, fiberglass, glass, rubber, gasoline and oil…. have you guessed….rolling works of art that some people call hot rods and custom cars!

Justin Gordon

Groveland, Massachusetts

A self-taught sculptor since 1974 turning professional after getting laid off from his engineering job in 1991. Justin now sculpts in 8 mediums: ice, snow for ski areas, clay for ceramics and bronzes, wax for the jewelry industry, stone, foam, wood, and sand.

Sand sculpting has taken Justin from Oman and Kuwait to Taiwan, to England, and all over the US and Canada. On occasions Justin has also done giant scale tree carvings using chainsaws and chisels for Storyland in NH and private commissions. Now Justin mostly concentrates on sand sculpting and wood carvings of architectural carved elements, custom clock cases, gun stocks, and figurative sculptures from fine art to caricatures of people for display or bronzing. But he’ll consider any commission request. He’s also an active member of the New England Wood Carvers and the New England Sculptors Association and teaches wood carving in Groveland.

Greg J. Grady

Derry, NH

New Hampshire native and Marine Corp veteran, Greg is a second generation self-taught artist that has learned from the best of the best. Tagging along with his dad from an early age his 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 globe, a creative pilgrimage, exploration and study into the world of sand sculpture. A passion for sand had turned into a career and over the past 16 years Greg has made sand sculptures for just about every event imaginable and has competed professionally around the world. Greg love what he does and feels blessed to be a part of such a wondrous art form and community. For more information reach out to Greg at: [email protected] or contact us for your own creation. “If you can dream it, we can sculpt it.”

Carl Jara

Lyndhurst, Ohio

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 strive 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. Jara

Dmitry Klimenko

Saint Petersburg, Russia

In 2004 I graduated from Saint Petersburg State Academy of Industrial Art and Design. Department of Monumental arts with a Master’s degree.

I’ve always thought sculpture was a kind of beautiful art for ages. Something very serious for museums and squares and never imagined I would find great joy to step away from an academic way of thinking.

It was an accident when they asked me to replace my colleague to participate in a sand contest in Saint Petersburg 2004. At once I instantly loved working with this material. The shapes and forms and amazing play with light and shadow captured my consciousness. Every time you push the limits of sand and discover new ways to play with it. Never-ending possibilities to grow that’s why I am always happy to work with this amazing medium, each sculpture is unique and temporary, every new project is a new challenge, and I don’t ever think I would stop working with sand.

I have taken part in international festivals in Japan, Russia, Canada, USA, Kuwait, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Danmark, Dominican Republic, Holland, Poland and Latvia and work with ice, bronze, and wood as well.

Andy Daily

Sarasota, Florida

The attraction to sand as an art form began when I was shown pictures of sand sculpture by friend. “This is sand? But, how?” My first attempts at sand sculpture were not impressive but they were enough to set the hook! I started entering amateur competitions and winning. In between contests I worked at Sand Festivals and made public displays of art for conventions and business. Sand sculpture became a full-time job in 2020 when the country shut down many came to Florida to get some sunshine. I met with 2-3 families a day to teach them how to build the sandcastles. Soon I was doing wedding proposals, giving lessons and the occasional competition and festival helped to fill my schedule. I’m always so grateful to see old friends and make new ones
at competitions around the country. Sand Artist are a rare group that creates a community that you want to be part of. I’m always grateful to be on the beach with my toes in the sand, creating something new that will only stand for a short while because it reminds me that life is short and that we should enjoy every moment of it.

Darlene Duggan

Essex, Massachusetts - Lessons

So why not stop by and say hello to Darlene and get a quick lesson or just a few pointers on your next creation at the beach. Darlene has been helping the public understand the basics of sand sculpture for over 20 years here in Hampton and is always willing to share her experience with groups and families to teach them how much fun playing in the sand can really be. Signups here are limited but if you would like to contact her or check out some of her other creative paintings and other art works go to: