Sand Sculptors Bring Talents to Treasure Island Beaches
An annual gathering of master sand sculptors and fans of their work will convene on Treasure Island beaches for two weekends this year beginning November 18-21, 2021 and wrapping up November 26-28, 2021. Sanding Ovations presents the 2021 “Sandlantis” Master’s Cup Sand Sculpting Exhibition and Competition, drawing some of the best sand artists from across the country to demonstrate their unique skills at 10400 Gulf Blvd. in Treasure Island near the Bilmar Beach Resort.
For over 20 years, Treasure Island has celebrated the art of sand sculpting following then-Governor Jeb Brush’s proclamation of Treasure Island as the Sand Sculpture Capital of Florida. This year’s event, which is free and open to the public, offers visitors an opportunity to spread out and enjoy an arts and crafts marketplace, beer garden and food court, as well as live music, a kite-flying festival (during the second weekend), and evening fireworks (Saturday, Nov. 20).
In addition to sponsor sculptures from Treasure Island-based sculptors Meredith and Dan Doubleday of Sanding Ovations, guests will be able to observe the imaginative work of talented sculptors from across the state, the U.S. and Canada. Dan Doubleday holds the distinction of being the first North American to win Sculptors Choice at the World Championship and has won more Sculptors Choice awards than anyone else. His wife Meredith, a talented artist in her own right, has been a sculptor for over 35 years and has a special honor of her own: being the first female to medal at the World Championship of sand sculpture. She says this art medium was made for her. “I have no formal art training, but I have always worked with my hands,” she says. “Sand was a natural fit for me.”
The Doubledays are joined by fellow Florida artists Manuel Campos of Jacksonville and Damon Meri of Indian Rocks Beach as well as Sue McGrew of Tacoma, WA (who previously appeared on the Travel Channel reality series Sand Masters), Deborah Barrett-Cutulle of Saugus, MA, and Bruce Phillips of Carlsbad, CA, who holds five world records in sand sculpting/sculptor.
Canada’s Abe Waterman of Prince Edward Island and Melineige Beauregard (RIGHT) of Montreal round out this year’s collection of skillful artisans. Like many of her fellow sculptors, Beauregard sees her craft as more than just a sport or artistic pursuit: she’s uncovered genuine spiritual peace and enlightenment from it: “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,” she says. “An artist is one who spiritualizes matter.”
This year’s live music lineup during the sand sculpture event is headlined by guitarist George Porter, Jr.(LEFT), best known for his work with early funk and R&B band, The Meters. The New Orleans artist has worked alongside such greats as Paul McCartney, Patti LaBelle, David Byrne, Jimmy Buffet, Robbie Robertson, and others. Porter appears onstage Friday, Nov. 19 at 7:00 p.m. preceded by artists Sarasota Slim (3:00 p.m.) and Damon Fowler (5:00 p.m.). Throughout the weekend of Nov. 19-21, visitors also can enjoy music from Tobacco Rd. Band, Dead Set Florida, Angie Rey, The Applebutter Express, Alex Hayes, Dennis Wallace, and School of Rock.
Hours for the 2021 sand sculpting weekend Nov. 18-21 are as follows: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday. Hours for the event’s encore weekend Nov. 26-28 are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with a Kite Festival taking place during the event from 10:00 a.m. to 4 pm. all weekend long. Event organizers have taken enhanced health and safety measures and are following recommended COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC to promote the practice of social distancing and will continue to adjust and announce any procedural changes as needed.
Metered event area parking for the Sanding Ovations sand sculpture exhibition is within walking distance at the following locations: Treasure Island Community Center, Treasure Island Park ($20 per car daily), Gulf Front Park, Treasure Island City Hall, Sandpiper Lot and St. Petersburg Municipal Beach. Saturday and Sunday attendees are encouraged to take advantage of available bus shuttles for $5 per person round-trip (kids under age 10 are free) and park at Treasure Bay Resort and Marina (11125 Gulf Blvd.) or nearby Paradise Lutheran Church (10255 Paradise Blvd.) where they can access onsite Shuttle Drop-off and Pick-up and make a shuttle payment inside the Treasure Bay Clubhouse. For more information about parking, volunteer opportunities and nearby accommodations for over the weekend, go to the event website.
Get the latest updates about this year’s event including the complete live music schedule at the event website sandingovationsmasterscup.com or follow the sand sculpting competition and exhibition on Facebook by clicking here.
Story written by Chris Kuhn for Destination Tampa Bay™. Content provided by the city of Treasure Island Park and Recreation. Photos are for editorial purposes only and are an example of what you might see at this event based on previous years.