Sand Sculpture Marks Clearwater Events

A Sarasota company transformed 75 tons of sand to honor Clearwater's most famous attractions.

If you’ve been to at Clearwater Beach in the last couple of days, you may have noticed a 75-ton lump of sand being formed into something special.

Members of Team Sandtastic, based in Sarasota, are creating a sand sculpture that depicts some of Clearwater’s most notable attractions.

Sand is an ubiquitous media. It’s readily available, but isn’t as widely used for public art installations. And while the sculpture at Pier 60 is expected to last only to Sept. 17, it does have some creative advantages. 

"I just like how fast it is," Team Sandtastic employee and Clearwater resident Patrick Harsch said.

Sand sculpting can be completed in a relatively fast amount of time compared to other arts media, such as clay sculpting.

"It's like instant gratification," Harsch said.

The Clearwater sand sculpture has a few different elements.

The representations  include the Uncorked wine festival, the Phillies’ Phanatic mascot, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, and of course Dolphin Tale, the film based on Winter the Dolphin

Vice Mayor George Cretekos said he's stopped by every day since Saturday to see how the sculpture, which highlights Clearwater events, was progressing.

"It's just exciting to see the whole thing,” Cretekos said. “Clearwater has so many diverse events throughout the year.”

A sand sculpture outdoors does face perils. While a light rain will be absorbed into the sand, said Harsch, heavier rain can be damaging. Wind is a more harmful but the most destructive element is vandals.

Larry Hudson, of Team Sandtastic, was spraying a sealer on the sculpture to help it maintain more integrity.

"We've already seen footprints on it," he said.


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