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Sand sculpting winners declared during tenth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic

International sand sculpting champions of the tenth annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival, which drew thousands to Siesta Public Beach. (See the completed sculptures Monday. Details at: www.siestakeycrystalclassic.com or www.facebook.com/SiestaKeyCrystalClassic)

“Despite the weather challenges this week, which created some difficulty, the quality of this year’s sculptures has been outstanding. We appreciate the public’s participation and support as the turnout was much better than expected. We know we had many locals and tourists who came out and we’re looking forward to 2020 which will be held November 13 – November 16, 2020,” says Event Chair Maria Bankemper.


 Awards were presented on, Nov. 17, to winning teams of two and solo master sand sculptors. The Crystal Classic drew seven teams of two and nine solo artists from nations around the world, including Singapore, Canada, Italy, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Columbia, Ireland and U.S. states including California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Texas.

Mine is Bigger Than Yours

Team sculptors Walter McDonald, U.S.A. and Abe Waterman, Canada, won first prize ($4,000) for “Mine is Bigger Than Yours.”

Sand Man Rises

First place in the solo artist category was John Gowdy, Italy, for “Sand Man Rises,” $2000. 

Other prizes and winners were:
Second place Artist Team ($3,000): “Snow Place Like Home,” by Craig Mutch, Canada, and Emerson Shreiner, U.S.A.
Third place Artist Team ($2,000): “Mental Block,” by Peter Vogelaar, Canada and Manuel Campos, Columbia
Sculptors’ choice Artist Team ($1,000): “Mental Block,” Peter Vogelaar and Manuel Campos
Second place Solo Artist ($1,500): “Magic,” by Karen Fralich, Canada
Third place Solo Artist ($1,000): “Home is Not a Place,” by Maxim Gazendam, Netherlands
Sculptors’ choice Solo Artist ($500): “Home is Not a Place,” Maxim Gazendam 


A portion of the proceeds from this year’s Siesta Key Crystal Classic will benefit student scholarships at Ringling College of Art and Design and will assist talented, creative students so that they may be able to pursue their dreams of higher education in art and design.


The Siesta Key Crystal Classic is owned by Siesta Beach Festival, Inc., a 501(c)3, non-profit corporation. The event is produced by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism, local businesses, and both ephemeral and visual arts through a collaborative partnership with the community.