ISSUE NO. 21
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One Part Sand.
3 Parts Brilliance.
One of the things I like most about my profession as a graphic designer / marketer is that it leads me into so many different experiences. It certainly isn't "turning the same bolt" day after day. And with every experience I get to learn more about a business, a product or any number of other things. When I talk with students or designers first entering this field I always say "Be curious about everything."
I've been working with ArtC for a few years. ArtC's purpose is to promote the arts in South Jersey. Working with the arts is always an interesting process. There are non-profits, boards for approvals, but what I find most interesting is that the actual "design" work has to fairly light handed. The art has to be the dominant visual element. The art needs to be the hero. Yet the design has to position the creative work in an interesting and innovative way.
I never expected this connection but while discussing a project with ArtC I heard that they were going to be involved with the World Championship of Sand Sculpture in Atlantic City as a judge. Not being one to pass up the chance to get involved in such things I said that if they needed any additional judges I'd be happy to lend a hand. Sure enough, a few emails and I was on the list.
Now, this is not a few plastic buckets and brightly colored, and easily broken plastic shovels. This literally was the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. There were sculptors from all around the globe. Special sand was imported from elsewhere in Jersey that has a little more silt than traditional beach sand. Each artist had 30 hours over 4 days to complete their creation. Rain or shine, they worked.
There were two different categories over two different weekends. First, single sculptors. There were 20 of them, all creating different plans and ideas. Then there was the team competition with two sculptors working together with a larger volume of sand, but still, 30 hours.
I love sculpture, and have an interest in the creation of temporary installations. It's fascinating to know that a creation will only be in existence for a short time. It creates a short moment in time where one can have an experience. And then that moment disappears. I myself have created a number of wooden sculptures that were burnt at the end of a festival in Phoenixville.
When I arrived at the sculpture area on Sunday, June 16th and 23rd there was just a few hours left for the artists to work. Some seemed to be mostly under control while others seemed to be scrambling to get the most from every passing second. There were traditional castle oriented approaches, although much larger and more detailed, there were beautifully sculpted conceptual approaches, abstracts and some that were just difficult to classify. A few really captivated me above all the others. Carl Jara from Cleveland US created a female form that was divided into separate units in a way that when viewed from one specific point the female form visually came together. David Ducharme from Canada sculpted an elderly man on a folded paper swan, stunning. Johannes Hogebrink from the Netherlands created what can only be described as a spiral form with alternating strips showing an infant and an older man with a pregnant woman on the back side of it. But all the entrees were an absolute pleasure to see.
The second week with the teams had 7 entrees. Some of the sculptors from different countries now were working together and combining their talents. I was completely torn between 2 for my favorite. One, a scene of Roman soldiers, chariots and horses with a long row of marching soldiers all coming down from the Acropolis (in a forced perspective), and the other, a heavy woman floating high above the ground draped with graceful fabric, titled "Weightless". I had to keep reminding myself, THIS IS SAND!
There were 6 judges for the single sculptors and 5 for the team competition. The criteria for judging this event was broken down into 4 categories with roughly 5 or 6 written areas of focus under each. We had to consider over all appearance, concept, technical difficulty aesthetic effectiveness among many other points of evaluation.
Winners - Single Sculptors
1st Place – Karen Fralich from Ontario, Canada for "Amazon's Pet"
2nd Place – Carl Jara from Cleveland, Ohio for "Goddess"
3rd Place – David Ducharme from British Columbia, Canada for "Folded Memory"
4th Place – Karlis Ile from Latvia for "The Last Apple"
5th Place – Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California for "The Phoenix is Always Rising"
Sculptor's Choice – Jeff Strong from Washington State, USA for "Dream Weaver"
Winners - Team Sculptors
1st Place – Brian Turnbough of Illinois and Joo Heng Tan of Singapore for "The Charge of Achilles"
2nd Place – Enguerrand David of Brussels, Belgium and Johannes Hogebrink of Amsterdam, Netherlands for "Weightless"
3rd Place – Bouke Atema of Germany & Kenya and Matt Long of New York for "The Eye of the Storm"
Sculptor's Choice – Enguerrand David of Brussels, Belgium and Johannes Hogebrink of Amsterdam, Netherlands for "Weightless"
So aside from looking at all this as a lot of fun and something I'd love to try some time (at that level with the specific sand, using the forms for roughing in the general shapes before sculpting and the task-specific tools) it truly was an assembly of world class artists using their amazing talents to create something that we can enjoy for... a short moment in time of maybe a few weeks.
Problem Solver No. 1
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