Sand sculpting may not be much of a big deal in India but the Americans take the art form to a whole new level. Year after year, sand by the truck loads arrive at the beautiful Revere beach for the annual Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival. Started as a local event, the Revere beach festival--now in its 16th edition--is now one of the largest sand sculpting festivals in the world.
Located just five miles north of Boston, the festival is a perfect getaway for the locals, attracting over a million visitors. Along the beach's old-fashioned boardwalk, a small fence--parallel to the sea wall--is set up. The visitors stroll along the walkway and observe the art work displayed in a temporary gallery. With the incentive of whopping prize money, the 2019 edition of the festival had as many as 15 sculptors taking part in the event, from across the world including participants from India, Canada, France, Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands, Russia, and the United States. With food trucks and stands, a 30-minute fireworks display synchronized to music, live entertainment, children's activities, street performers and amusement rides, the sand sculpting event is literally a festival catered for the spectators.
Each artist is given 10 tons of sand and an 18'x18' square exhibit area to sculpt their designs. Artists are provided 4 days to complete their designs. Molding components are allowed but must be removed prior to the judging process. The sand sculptures are evaluated using four categories: degree of difficulty, originality and creativity, quality of sculpting, and overall visual impact.
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Some of the sculptors included a mermaid whipping her wet hair over her head, lovers embracing in a nest. But the one that stood out and won the People's Choice Award at the festival was the masterpiece ‘Stop Plastic Pollution-Save Our Ocean’ by Sudarshan Pattnaik. Speaking to OT after winning the award, Pattanaik said, "This award is really special to me. I went to Boston to have some fun and without any expectations. But to have won the award means so much to me. Living close to the ocean, I see plastic waste along the coast every day and hence I decided to go with a theme that will help create awareness among people. Plastic is killing the animals and the environment. So hopefully I was able to spread the message through my art."