Meet the Sand Sculpture Contestants

Greg Grady - Organizer and Founder

Hampton, NH

Welcome to this our 23rd year of creating masterpieces in the sand for all to enjoy here at Hampton Beach. From the young and to the old it is not hard to see why so many folks look forward to the return of the Masters of Sand each year in wonderment of what creations they will be unfolding. This year using only the tiniest grains of sand behold as the “Sand Before Time” is unveiled for our sponsors display along with a tribute to New Hampshire’s own cultural icon The Old Man of the Mountain. For more information on sponsorship or your own sand creation contact me at: [email protected]. Please be sure to thank our sponsors who make this Free event possible.  

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.

Rusty Croft

Carmel, California

Croft’s public art career started with world record setting sand sculpture, “The Lost City of Atlantis” in San Diego, 1997. Since then he has traveled the world sculpting sand, snow and ice, winning awards and accolades
for corporate and private clients. In 2010 Sand Guys International was born. A TV show with Travel Channel soon followed. “Sand Masters” chronicled their adventures in sand around the globe, working in locations as varied as New York, New Zealand and Palau. Sand Guys have been commissioned to create sculptures in over 30 countries. “Sand Masters” has been translated into Spanish, French and Italian airing throughout Asian-Pacific rim and Europe. Sand Guys client list includes some of the highest profile businesses in the world: Apple, Disney, Google, Facebook, Pixar, and Lucas Films. 2014 Sand Guys achievements literally reached “new heights” when Caterpillar hired them to create the Guinness Book of World Records “tallest sand castle” in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Leading the Sand Guys team, Rusty is featured as a judge on CBC hit show Race Against the Tide. Also featured on Today Show, Good Morning America, Hell’s Kitchen, Rachel Ray Show, Sand Masters, Sand Blasters, Sand Wars and Hallmark’s Home & Family; and featured in publications: Wall Street Journal, SunSet Magazine, American Lifestyles, Kinfolk, and AARP Magazine.

Melineige Beauregard – “1st Place 2022”

Captain Cook, Hawaii

Being the runt of the litter from a family of sculptors, Melineige Beauregard has been constantly vying for that number one position. After finally clawing her way to the top of the sand sculpting food chain, she now tries to beat her incredibly talented boyfriend, Chris Guinto…who is awesome in every way. Unfortunately for her, this impossible task has been an arduous journey of tears & hardships leading absolutely nowhere. The end.

Karen Fralich

Ontario, Canada

Fun facts: Karen really loves cats, Star Wars, Tae Kwon Do, Heavy Metal and Hampton Beach! She is very honored to be along-term member of the Grady Bunch, this will be her 20th year! To date, Karen has competed in over 150 Masters International sand sculpting competitions. She has won many medals, including 30 First Place Titles and 5 World Championship titles. With no formal art training, her passion, curiosity, and many incredible mentors lead her to embrace this unusual occupation. Karen has loved creating sand sculptures for 29 years, it has been her full-time career for 22 of them. Her work takes her around the world, collaborating with friends, festivals, and companies in 11 countries,.

Chris Guinto - "2021 Sculptors Choice Award”

Captain Cook, Hawaii

When you think Chris you think “people person” or “family guy”. He literally loves everyone and doing sand sculpting just so he could hang at the beach and share his passion with all beachgoers. He’s the master of cuteness, from turtle to mermaids he does it all. If you’re not sure which sculpture is his, just follow the “aww” and the “owww.” For a long time, his biggest regret in life was not being able to have a kiddo of his own. But life, being grateful, granted him his wish when he met Mel (his wife) and her daughter Ali that he loves now as his own. Having a family and traveling around the world to play in the sand, he says that he has died now and gone to heaven since he’s the happiest man on earth. Hopefully, he still has many years ahead of him offering us the privilege to see all the beauty he has to share with us. If you see him on the beach, go talk to him, he’ll be happy to share with you his secret about happiness.

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 verity 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

Justin is a self-taught sculptor and wood carver since 1974 and professionally since getting laid off from his engineering job in 1991. Justin now sculpts in 8 medium: 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. He also does annual sand sculptures at the Topsfield Fair, the Hampton Beach Masters Sand Sculpting Competition, and the Champlain Valley Fair in Essex Junction, VT. 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. See more of Justin’s portfolio at:

Matthew Deibert

New Jersey

Matthew Deibert was born and raised in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Living close to the beaches, Matthew spent many days playing in the sand. As a child Matthew showed an interest for the arts.

Living close to the beach, and number 7 of 8 children, family trips to the beach were frequent. Sand was a medium readily available and affordable. Sandcastles, large decorative walls, tunnels and motes were some of his favorites. Through the school years he returned to the beaches, abandoning sand as an art form, but to serve the public along the beach as an Atlantic City lifeguard. It was the birth of his first son lan and their early trips to the beach that sparked a new relationship enjoying the sand. This enjoyment transformed into a passion after studying the Art of sand sculpture and discovering the history of sand sculpture and its connection with Atlantic City. At present Matthew holds a BA from Mercyhurst University with an emphasis in Graphic Design. He is a retired Atlantic City Firefighter Captain. Matthew is married with six children. His three sons, Ian and Matt, Jr. and Liam have joined him on the sand pile. He is the creator and owner of SandCreation LLC. He has been competing and working with sand professionally since 1999. During his free time, he can usually be found with family and friends on the New Jersey Shore. He also enjoys playing golf… one place where he tries to stay out of the sand.

Matthew has worked with other sculptors, some of the large events are: Beach Fest Atlantic City, Super Bowl Tampa FL., Bloomberg Manhattan, NY, Sun Fun Fest Myrtle Beach, SC, Grand Opening South Carolina Aquarium, Summer Fest Winter Haven, Fl., World Record Attempt Wildwood, NJ, Schenectady NY, The White House Commission on Remembrance ” Sands of Remembrance” 60° Anniversary D-Day, Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, Wawa Welcome America in Philadelphia, Atlantic City Beerfest and Downbeach Seafood fest, Margate Beachstock, Somers Point Bayfest, Tropicana Casino and Ocean Casino. Matthew has competed in solo and team events.

Some of his honors were: 3rd Place team-Expo Cite Quebec 2000, * Place team-Expo Cite Quebec 2001 with John Gowdy, 2nd Place solo Old Orchard Beach, ME 2001, Peoples Choice World Championship-Solo Harrison BC Canada 2001, 3rd Place Solo North American Championship Virginia Beach VA 2001, 3rd Place solo- Expo Cite Quebec 2002, and 1st Place-Team World Championship Harrison BC Canada 2002, 1st Place team North American Championship Virginia Beach VA 2003, 2nd Place Solo North American Championship Virginia Beach, VA 2004, nd Place Team-Expo Cite Quebec 2005. 1st Place New Jersey Championship 2007 & 2008.

He competed on “Sand Blasters 2007″and 2008, it was shown on the Travel Channel. 2nd place Solo
2011 North American Championship. Winner of “Sand Wars” with Ian Deibert, March 2012 featured on the Travel Channel. In 2018, the father and son team won “People’s Choice” at the Virginia Beach International Championships.

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’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. Jara

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: