If you haven’t been to the Hampton Beach Masters Sandsculpting Competition, I highly recommend you check it out. There are some incredibly talented sculptors who have created works of art and they’re on display right now at Hampton Beach.
A Celebration of Summer
Every June, Hampton Beach celebrates the start of summer with this awesome event. This marks the 17th anniversary. It started back in 2000 when the US Mint commissioned local artist and master sand sculptor Greg Grady to create a larger than life replica of the New Hampshire Quarter that was being released that year. The event has grown into an international competition, and is now the largest Masters competition in the Northeast US. Ten artists from all over the world are invited here each year to compete.
To see these astonishing works in person, just head to Hampton Beach. You’ll find them rising up out of the sand in the area right next to the Sea Shell Complex. Talk about wow. Wow! Wow! Wow! Did I mention wow? The detail and precision is incredible. I’ve come to this event for many years and I am never disappointed. You might be wondering, is this regular beach sand? No, definitely not. The sand that is used is a special mix that comes from a New Hampshire quarry. About 200 tons or so is trucked in just prior to the competition. The sculptors work together as a group with about 100 tons of the sand to craft the sponsor site that includes a shout out to all the event sponsors, and it also represents the theme. This year’s is We Make Dreams Come True.
Each sculptor is supplied with 10 tons of sand to use to bring their masterpiece to life. They have 3 days total (8 hours each day) in which to complete it. Once they’re done, they’re sprayed down with what’s called a windscreen, a solution of glue and water that helps protect them from the elements. There’s $15,000 up for grabs and the criteria used for judging includes: overall impact “WOW” factor; technical skill and degree of difficulty; consistent theme/message with balanced design and detail; and plot and sand usage. The actual competition took place from June 15 – 17. Winners were unveiled last Saturday night. First place this year went to Melineige Beauregard from Montreal, Canada for her masterpiece titled “Dance of the Undefined.” Event organizers have profiles of each artist on their Facebook page Hampton Beach “Official”.
There’s still time for you to see them yourself. The sculptures will be on display through next Wednesday, June 28th! So if you’re headed to the beach, stop by, day or night because they’re lit for night viewing as well! After that the structures are demolished and the sand taken away… until the competition comes around again next June. So get there before they’re gone, it’s well worth the trip!