Tag Archives: Sculpture

Amusing Monday: Faucets seem to hang in mid-air as water runs

They call them magical floating faucets in the United States, but I’ve also seen them called floating taps, spigots or spouts. The illusion is one of a faucet floating in the air and producing a stream of water with no apparent source.

“Tap Fountain” in Cala Galdana, Spain
Photo: Cala Menorca tourism promotion

They have been created as decorative, amusing fountains in all sizes — from tabletop models, which you can purchase or make yourself, to giant sculptures that can be viewed from a distance or as close as you wish to get.

Large faucet fountains seem to be popular in Spain, where the “iconic red tap” marks the starting point of a large water slide outside the Tobogan restaurant in Cala Galdana, a resort town on the island of Menorca in the Mediterranean Sea. A Resort Guide to Cala Galdana, which includes a photo of the red tap, creates an exciting invitation to this locale. I wasn’t able to find the name of the artist who created the sculpture.

A silver faucet fountain in El Puerto de Santa Maria, located in southwest Spain, is said to be the work of the late French sculptor Philippe Thill. It might, however, be a floating faucet inspired by Thill, whose website (archived) shows a similar piece titled “Insolate Fountain” along with other water-related sculptures.

Continue reading

Amusing Monday: Amazing sand sculptures are but brief creations

Creativity, humanity and whimsy seem to be abundant qualities among the sand sculptors producing unique works of art at various competitions across the United States this year.

“Dance of the Undefined,” first place in the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Competition. Artist: Mélineige Beauregard, Montreal, Quebec. // Photo: Hampton Beach Facebook page

In June, the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Competition in New Hampshire celebrated its 17th anniversary by attracting more than a dozen professional artists, including at least five from Canada.

This year’s winner at Hampton Beach was Mélineige Beauregard from Montreal, Quebec. Her work in sand, titled “Dance of the Undefined,” shows a woman from the waist up with honeycomb arms stretched above her head. Mélineige explained that the piece represents how people are constantly changing in some ways while staying the same in others.

She considers art as a kind of spiritual experience, according her to bio on the Hampton Beach website.

“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 was quoted as saying. “An artist is one who spiritualizes matter. For me, art is a means of communication, a way to transmit the energy of life, to affirm its vastness and its beauty.”

Mélineige has won more than 30 individual awards in sand sculpting. In 2004, she teamed up with her father, renowned sculptor Guy Beauregard, to win the World Championship doubles competition. Last year, she was the winner at the Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival in Massachusetts. See the article by Liz Vanderau in Boston University Today. A slideshow of the Hampton Beach sculptures was posted on YouTube by Ammoguy5. Winners were listed on the Hampton Beach website with photos on the Hampton Beach Facebook page.

“Soul Evolution,” first place in the Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Frestival. Artist: Pavel Mylnikov, Moscow, Russia.
Photo: Revere Beach Facebook page

This year’s winner at the Revere Beach competition, July 21-23, was Pavel Mylnikov of Moscow, Russia. His sculpture, titled “Soul Evolution,” is an intricately carved piece with two masculine angels on a rocky outcropping. Artist-reporters Dan Doubleday and Meredith Corson-Doubleday of RevereTV do a nice job of explaining their craft in a series of videos. Below, I’ve linked to two videos focused on four sculptures in this year’s competition — including entries by Pavel and Mélineige:

The festivals at Hampton Beach and Revere Beach are listed among the top 10 sand-sculpting competitions in the United States, according to Coastal Living magazine. Also making the list is the SandSations Sandcastle Competition in Long Beach, Wash. (See Facebook for some random photos and a list of winners.)

Another great sand-sculpting festival was held this year on July 14 and 15 at Imperial Beach, California. NBC 7, San Diego put together a nice video of the top winners.

“Neptune’s Organ,” first place in the 2016 Virginia Beach International Sand Sculpting Championship. Artists: Meredith Corson Doubleday and Dan Doubleday, Florida.
Photo: Virginia Beach website

Still to come this year is the International Sand Sculpting Championship, Sept. 30 to Oct. 8 in Virginia Beach, Va. The event is part of the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival. More than 30 of the world’s top sculptors are scheduled to compete along with separate competitions for amateur sculptors.

Last year’s first-place winner in Virginia Beach was Mélineige Beauregard, mentioned above. The first-place in team competition was won by Meredith Corson Doubleday and Dan Doubleday, mentioned above as artist-reporters in the Revere Beach competition. Their sculpture, Neptune’s Organ, also took the Neptune’s Choice, Sculptors’ Choice and People’s Choice awards in the team division.

Winners from 2016 contest in Virgina Beach can be seen on the festival’s winners page.

After enjoying dozens of photos showing amazing sculptures, I can’t help but think about the fragility and temporary nature of these artworks. For all their beauty and intricacy, as well as the thoughts and emotions they inspire, these sculptures soon disappear, and the artists are left to prepare for their next fleeting creation.

Amusing Monday: New art exhibit shows how glass can be like water

The similar properties of water and glass are explored in more than 50 pieces of artwork in an exhibit called “Into the Deep” at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass.

Undulation, kiln-cast crystal by Taliaferro Jones. The piece is 13 by 54 by 8 inches. Photo: Taliaferro Jones
“Undulation,” kiln-cast crystal by Taliaferro Jones. This piece is 13 by 54 by 8 inches.
Photo: Taliaferro Jones

The art captures the movements, shapes and colors of creatures and objects in the beautiful underwater world. For a closer look, click on the images on this page.

“By creating artwork inspired by the ocean, each artist has captured both the fragile beauty of the marine environment and the delicate nature of glass,” Katie Buckingham, exhibit curator, said in a statement on the exhibit’s webpage.

Persian Sea Forms, blown glass by Dale Chihuly. This piece is 67 by 120 inches. Photo: Terry Rishel
“Persian Sea Forms,” blown glass by Dale Chihuly. This piece is 67 by 120 inches. // Photo: Terry Rishel

Buckingham said she hopes visitors will not only enjoy the art but also feel inspired to celebrate and protect the natural environment. The 16 national and international artists featured in the exhibit include Alfredo Barbini, Dale Chihuly, Shayna Leib, Kelly O’Dell, Kait Rhoads, Raven Skyriver, and Hiroshi Yamano.

Fifteen of the pieces were produced in the workshop at the Museum of Glass, including some produced by apprentices.

"Tyee," hand-sculpted glass by Raven Skyriver. This piece is 21 by 32 by 7 inches. Photo: Kp Studios
“Tyee,” hand-sculpted glass by Raven Skyriver. This piece is 21 by 32 by 7 inches. // Photo: Kp Studios

The exhibit opened on Sept. 24 and will remain through September 2017. Visitors will be able to access information linked to each piece of art by using a cell phone and scanning the STQRY QR codes. Three virtual tours are available, one with scientific information, one about the creation of the sculptures and one on the artists. Bonnie Becker, a biologist at the University of Washington-Tacoma, wrote the scientific narrative.

"Red Polyp" blown glass with mixed hollow murrine woven with copper wire by Kait Rhoads. This piece is 45 by 49 by 19 inches. Photo: Kait Rhoads
“Red Polyp,” blown glass with mixed hollow murrine woven with copper wire by Kait Rhoads. This piece is 45 by 49 by 19 inches. // Photo: Kait Rhoads

A list of other exhibits can be found on the Museum of Glass webpage. Activities, including hands-on workshops and lectures, can be found on the Museum of Glass calendar. A separate webpage lists admission fees and hours.

Speaking of glass artwork, I am impressed with the intricate salmon sculpture with the glass salmon eggs used to create a kiosk at the east end of the new Bucklin Hill Bridge over the Clear Creek estuary in Silverdale.

Salmon and more than 200 glass eggs are part of a sculpture that makes up a new kiosk at the east end of the Bucklin Hill Bridge. Photo:
Salmon and more than 200 glass eggs are part of a sculpture that makes up a new kiosk at the end of the Bucklin Hill Bridge. // Photo: Larry Steagall, Kitsap Sun

Driving across the bridge, one can see the bright orange salmon eggs, more than 200 in all. A closer look reveals three salmon figurines in a swimming posture above the eggs.

“I do believe that when you drive along and you have artwork alongside the road, I think it lifts your spirits,” said Lisa Stirrett, the designer of the kiosk, in a story written by Christian Vosler for the Kitsap Sun.

Amusing Monday: Festivals as fleeting as sand

Master sand sculptors from throughout the world have been stretching their imaginations this year at various sand-sculpting festivals where they’ve been putting their unique abilities on display.

“Inseminate” by Guy-Olivier Deveau of Quebec City, Canada, first place in the Master Sand Sculpting Competition in Hampton Beach, N.H. Photo courtesy of Hampton Beach
“Inseminate” by Guy-Olivier Deveau of Quebec City, first place in the Master Sand Sculpting Competition in Hampton Beach, N.H.
Photo courtesy of Hampton Beach Village District

In June, the 14th annual Master Sand Sculpting Competition in Hampton Beach, N.H., brought together a dozen amazing artists, including first-place winner Guy-Olivier Deveau from Quebec City, Canada. Deveau’s sculpture “Inseminate” (shown here) was done as a tribute to the recently deceased Swiss artist H.R. Giger, who helped create the creature in the movie “Alien,” according to festival organizers.

I am both amused and inspired by Carl Jara’s piece, “Putting Down Roots,” which depicts a friendly embrace between man and nature (second photo on this page). Jara, of Cleveland, Ohio, continues to impress me with his imaginary figures.

“Putting Down Roots” by Carl Jara of Cleveland, Ohio, third place Photo courtesy of Hampton Beach
“Putting Down Roots” by Carl Jara of Cleveland, Ohio, third place
Photo courtesy of Hampton Beach Village District

Tacoma’s Sue McGrew participated in Hampton Beach, creating a thoughtful piece she called “Mother’s Protection” (third on this page). For a full gallery of photos of the sand sculptures, visit the Hampton Beach visitors page or the Flickr page created for the event.

“Putting Down Roots” by Carl Jara of Cleveland, Ohio, third place Photo courtesy of Hampton Beach
“Mother’s Protection” by Sue McGrew of Tacoma
Photo courtesy of Hampton Beach Village District

I am sorry to learn that the Arts in Action festival held in Port Angeles for nearly a half-century will come to an end after this year’s event, Sept. 5-7.

The folks running the Port Angeles festival were no longer able to continue, and nobody stepped up to take it over, according to Doc Reiss, sand sculpture organizer.

“Forty-nine years is a good, long run,” Reiss told reporter Arwyn Rice of the Peninsula Daily News, who tells the history of the sand-sculpture competition and the decision to end it this year.

McGrew and Sandis Kondrats of Latvia will creates tribute sculptures this year in Port Angeles to recognize 10 years of master-level sand sculpting in the remote city on the Olympic Peninsula. I have been pleased to report on the event as an “Amusing Monday” feature since 2009:

Master-level sand sculpting also has come and gone from Federal Way, which just goes to show that these festivals are as ephemeral as the sand sculptures themselves.

In 2011, amateur photographer Flint Weiss of Maple Valley shot the Federal Way sculptures, then he told me why he loved them but was worried about their future. His words turned out to be prophetic:

“I do feel that art is enriching and that everybody is capable of producing some,” he wrote in an e-mail. “One of the things I like about sand sculpture is how solid and crisp everything looks, when it is really only made from sand.

“That makes sculptures like these feel somewhat improbable, making them all the more impressive. I also really enjoy the sheer artistry involved. While it’s easy for me (or any of us) to take a trowel to a pile of sand, it never looks anything like what these folks do.

“It’s sad,” he continued, “that this contest doesn’t get the public support it deserves. Given how much Western Washington loves both art and craftsmanship, it’s kind of surprising that the contest isn’t more popular.”

After three years in Federal Way, the World Championship of Sand Sculptures moved on to Atlantic City, N.J., as I reported in “Water Ways”:

Check out this year’s Atlantic City entries in a slide show created by Jordan Herelle.

In other areas, “Boston” magazine” covered the 2014 Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival, which featured the theme “Stars and Stripes: A Tribute to Our Nation’s Armed Forces” to coincide with the 70th anniversary of D-Day. (Don’t miss the extended slide show at the bottom of the page.)

“My SA” in San Antonio covered the Texas SandFest in Port Aransas. See also Tim Burdick’s photos of the event.

Amusing Monday: Amazing art based in shifting sand

I’m always amazed at the unusual shapes and forms that artists manage to create from sand — which everyone knows is nothing like wood, rock or clay, the typical materials used for sculpting.

The other thing I find interesting about sand sculptures is that they lack the permanency of artworks made of durable materials. Consider that after spending long hours dedicated to producing their works of art, the artists have only photographs from which to remember their creations.

This year, the World Championship of Sand Sculptures moved to Atlantic City, N.J., after three years in Federal Way, Wash. Twenty-seven sculptors from 13 countries were engaged in the competition, held in June.

I’m told that the annual sand-sculpture contest in Port Angeles, called Arts in Action, will be held this weekend. So far, however, I have been unable to find much information about it online. I’m waiting for a phone call or email from the organizers. It’s always been a good show if you like to see amazing sculptures made of sand.

As for the Atlantic City event, I’ve posted two slide-show videos on this page, the first accompanied by the natural sounds of waves and seagulls, the second with music. You may prefer the pictures taken by photographer Rae Mara and posted on her website. Another option is to check out the official Facebook page of the event. (Click on the first photo, then use the right arrow to move through the images.)

Jeff Strong, identified as coming from Puget Sound in Washington state, was honored with the “Sculptors’ Choice” award with his piece called “Dream Weaver.”

Look for solo sculptures by Karen Fralich of Ontario, Canada, who came in first with her sculpture “Amazon’s Pet;” Carl Jara of Cleveland, Ohio, who earned second place for his piece called “Goddess;” and David Ducharme of British Columbia, Canada, who received a third-place award for his “Folded Memory.”

Two other events worthy of a look via slideshow are a competition in January in Hawkesberry, Australia, and one just completed this past weekend at Revere Beach in Boston.

Amusing Monday: Artists capture images in sand

This year’s World Sand Sculpting Tournament of Champions, ending today in Federal Way, drew 16 of the best sand sculptors from across the United States, along with three from Canada and one from Italy.

Carl Jara’s “Unfurling” required the artist to reach into a narrow space to refine the piece, which took first place in the Northwest Sand Festival.
Photo courtesy of NW Sand Festival

We’ve seen many of these sand artists before at the Federal Way event, also known as the Northwest Sand Festival. Some are well known at other sculpting contests around the U.S., including one each summer in Port Angeles.

The first photograph on this page shows a sculpture called “Unfurling” by Carl Jara of Cleveland. It was awarded the first-place trophy in the singles division.

Another familiar name is Sue McGrew of Tacoma. Her untitled piece, also on this page, took a third-place award in the singles division at the Federal Way event.

Second place, called “Three Muses,” went to Delayne Corbett of Vancouver, British Columbia.

To get a better idea what this year’s exhibit was like, view the following slide shows:

Northwest Sand Festival website

Federal Way Mirror

The last major sand-sculpting event in the United States is coming up on Sept. 28 Virginia Beach, Va. It’s called the Neptune Festival, because it’s held in Neptune Park. See the best from the 2011 Neptune Festival.

Sue McGrew’s untitled piece took second place in the Northwest Sand Festival, in its final day today.
Photo courtesy of NW Sand Festival

Another sand-sculpting festival was held at Revere Beach, Mass., in July. See the winning sand sculptures from 2012.

The video, below, shows a variety of scenes from the Federal Way gathering. It was produced by Michael Dziak and can be found on the festival’s website.

Amusing Monday: Human figures in a watery world

The images and music you will experience in the video player below happens to be my favorite of the numerous presentations showing a large collection of submerged sculptures in Grenada, West Indies.

The artist is Jason deCaires Taylor, a man with a wide-ranging background who became inspired to produce a massive gallery of underwater figures that he created out of cement, stone and steel. If you are a diver, you can see the works for yourself. If not, you can enjoy the videos — including this one with its slow, evocative piano music as the viewer drifts over and among the neglected human figures.

I can see myself in the piece titled “The Lost Correspondent,” shown as the video begins. Now I know what happened to my old typewriter.

The sculpture shows a man sitting at a desk with a writing machine of yesteryear. Scattered across the desk are numerous newspaper articles and clippings dating back many years. Some describe Grenada’s political history, including the country’s alignment with Cuba in the 1950s.

For this lone figure lost in an alien world, change is taking place around him whether or not he is ready for it to come.

If you would like to know more about where Taylor gets his inspiration and ideas, check out his website called Underwater Sculptures, where you will find still images, videos, bios and more. In a descriptive video interview, correspondent Miranda Krestovnikoff of The Underwater Channel, asked Taylor, “What sort of impression do you want to create?” Taylor’s reply:

“Firstly, the different ways of looking at the world and how we fit into it… Our place in the evolution and how things are constantly changing… And how nature is so powerful and incredible. You just have to be awed by it.”

For a preview of Taylor’s next major creation, check out this underwater sculpture park in Cancun, Mexico, where construction of a much larger aquatic exhibit is well under way.

Amusing Monday: Science-fiction figures set in sand

I always enjoy seeing the sand sculptures in Port Angeles, which is home to the annual Windemere Sand Sculpure Classic. This year’s theme was “Legends of Science Fiction.”

Alien versus Bender by Carl Jara, the winning sand sculpture in Port Angeles.
Photo courtesy of Mike Oberg

I did not make it to PA this past weekend to see the sculptures, but I was able to find some pictures. A story about the contest was written by reporter Tom Callis of the Peninsula Daily News. Keith Thorpe of the PDN photographed the winners with their art. Mike Oberg, a visitor from Olathe, Kans., posted some nice shots of the sculptures on Associated Content.

In the links below, Mike Oberg is credited with the sculptures alone, and Keith Thorpe shot the ones showing the sculptor:

First place:
“Alien versus Bender” — by Carl Jara of Cleveland

Sculptors Choice Award:
“Time Machine” — by Dan Belcher, an artist in residence not eligible for the primary awards

Second Place: “Luke & Leia” — by Sue McGrew of Tacoma

Third Place: “Radio Visions” — by Damon Farmer of Versailles, Ky.

Honorable Mention: “I. Asimov” by Jeff Strong

Continue reading