Sand sculptures weigh heavy on Hampton Beach contest
To winning sculptor Carl Jara of Cleveland, his towering, 12-foot, shrouded figure with a hollow center represents a continuum of life.
“We lost a couple of people in the last few years here and it’s been pretty traumatic,” Jara said. “It’s my 12th year back and you develop a family while you’re here.”
He said mortality had definitely been on his mind, and as he started carving on Thursday, the hooded figure immediately began to take shape.
But, he said, as he saw the “Hell’s Sandbox” and “The Thing” sculptures taking shape next to him, he said he did not want to make his sculpture too dark. His sculpture’s rippling ring of sand as the shroud billows out at the bottom is just the touch to soften the deeper tones of the hooded face and meeting hands.
Jara is one of only four people to have ever won the first-place title in the 12 years of the Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Competition. This was his fourth win, worth $3,000 cash prize and a trip to the World Championships in Fort Myers, Fla., later this year.
He has been to the World Championships 13 times and has medaled 13 times, he said, including one first-place title.
After the awards were given out Saturday night and as the fireworks began to explode over the beach, Jara and many of the other sand sculptors were at the Purple Urchin restaurant, playing with slot cars.
In the meantime, visitors to the beach were lining the boardwalk to view and photograph the unique sculptures, which were created by each artist in 21 hours over three days using 10 tons of sand.
Karen Fralich of Charlesborg, Quebec, earned the People’s Choice Award and the Sculptor’s Choice Award was given to Greg J. Grady for his half-underground piece titled “Stairway to Heaven,” which featured a person ascending stairs to a castle in the sky.
All of the sculptures will remain on display through July 8 and will be lit for night viewing.
Photos of the winning sculptures are expected to be available at www.hamptonbeach.org.
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