We are excited to announce our
2017 Competing Sculptors.
Advanced Amateur Division is a place
where an advanced amateur sculptor can prove their abilities
and get one step closer to being accepted as a Master
Sculptor. If they have the abilities they could be invited
back the following year to compete in the Masters Level. The
big question on everyone's mind is, will one of the local
Michigan sculptors become the 2017; Michigan State Champion
or will it be a sculptor from another state.
WHAT IS AN ADVANCED AMATEUR SAND SCULPTOR?
To qualify as an Advanced Amateur a sand sculptor must have placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in several amateur contests but, can not be a professional sand sculptor.The big difference: typically an amateur sculptor has about 1-3 tons of sand and only 3-6 hours sculpting time. An Advanced Amateur competition is held over 2-3 days, the sculptor has about 9 tons of sand with about 20 hours sculpting time. The Advanced Amateur Division is by invitation only.
Lisa has had a lifelong interest in art and has explored many artistic mediums over the years. She has a Degree in Graphic and Commercial Art, and has spent the past ten years working at an embroidery and screen printing shop, creating designs for clothing. Lisa first took an interest in sand sculpting about five years ago when she saw photos of sand sculpting events in Florida. Her fascination lead to volunteering to work at a Sandbash event that same year. Lisa was excited about what she saw and learned there. She entered her first sand sculpting competition in 2013. The past two years, Lisa has been teaching young children, and even a few adults, the basics of sand sculpting at Blue Water Sandfest. Several of her students have gone on to compete and win medals in the Amateur Division contests.
Bruce Peck was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri (Go Redbirds!). His freshman year of college studying architecture (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) scared him far away from the arts, into a lifelong career as a CPA. His career allowed him to travel extensively and live in such beautiful places as Halifax, Nova Scotia, Portland, Oregon (Go Ducks!), and Sacramento, California. When an opportunity arose to relocate once again, it wasn’t by accident that he ended up on the Gulf Coast of Florida (Go Bolts!) near several of the best beaches in the United States (#1, #3, and #4 according to Trip Advisor). By then he had stumbled upon a passion for sand sculpting during family beach vacations. His family and friends had no idea where the hidden talent had come from, but they encouraged him to enter his first amateur competition in 2014. The camaraderie and festival atmosphere have kept him coming back ever since!
Kevin entered his first amateur sand sculpting contest in 2007 ill prepared. While others arrived with garden shovels and special sculpting tools, Kevin was equipped with only children's beach toys and a 5 gallon bucket. Despite the disadvantage, he and his family were happy to win 3rd place building a sand castle. This began a family tradition of entering local contests and winning ribbons under the adopted name "The Sand Carvers". What started as just a fun summer activity for the family soon became an obsession for Kevin. He began taking day long trips to the shores of Lake Michigan just to experiment with new sand sculpting techniques. In 2013, Kevin participated in his first Advanced Amateur competition still feeling very much like a novice compared to the talent surrounding him. Kevin was ecstatic with the results. He made a sculpture twice as tall as anything he had ever done before and won 3rd place in the process. Kevin continues to enjoy participating in the occasional major contest, sculpting with his friends, or just making something for himself and leaving it on the beach. If you come across a sand sculpture on the beaches of Lake Michigan, it may just be from "Sand Carver Kevin".
I starting playing in the sand to entertain our daughters when they were little, they're now both married with kids of their own. When we moved to Florida from Atlanta in 2014, I was able to enter my first sand sculpting contest. I've learned something new at every competition and met many great and talented people.
I've lived in Florida for nearly my entire life but, I never really liked the beach. Then, in June 2011, I discovered sand sculpting. Finally! A reason to go to the beach! For a few hours I'm able to set aside everything and focus on carving sand. Each time I pound up, I try to extend my skills. Sometimes I push a little too far but, that's good, too. I entered the amateur contest in Ft. Myers Beach in November, 2011, and placed third. Since then I’ve participated in numerous contests throughout Florida and one in Michigan. High points include 2nd place in Quicksand at the 2012 Florida State Championships, 1st place Advanced Amateur at the inaugural Lake Worth Beach Sand Sculpting and Seafood Festival in 2014 and Judges Choice at the 42nd Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest. While awards are nice, the best parts of contests is meeting others with the same affliction, the opportunity rub elbows with the masters and visiting with the folks who come out to see our work.
Paul Warren has always loved design and loved the beach, and finds that sand sculpting is the perfect combination of these passions. He grew up loving long days by the ocean and, as his daughters were growing up, entertained them with sand sculptures of alligators, turtles, castles and cartoon characters. In 2009, after realizing he couldn’t use his now-grown daughters as an excuse to play in the sand anymore. Inspired by the works of art he witnessed at Revere and Hampton Beaches, he entered his first amateur competition in South Padre, Texas in 2009. He enjoys competing at both the amateur and advanced amateur levels nationally. In, 2015, his competing has resulted in third place Advanced Amateur awards at the Blue Water Sand Fest, American Championships of Sand Sculpting, and a first place Pro-Am award at the Wildwood Crest Beach NJ Sand Fest He spends as much time as he can practicing on beaches in New England, Aruba and elsewhere. He also competes in the annual snow sculpting events in Jackson, NH and Camden, ME Winterfest, and competed in the 2016 United States National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, WI.
Bryan Obermeyer is a Grand Rapids resident who got his start 7 years ago at the Grand Haven Sand Sculpture Contest. The Grand Haven contest is geared towards families. When he started, Bryan entered every year with his family, his wife and three daughters. Over the years Bryan was content playing in the sand. However, his passion for sand became fueled by the oohs and aahs of people passing by as they marveled at his sculptures. Port Huron will be his 4th Advanced Amateur Contest and will enable him to have the time to build the bigger sculptures that he longs for"
Bob's lifelong interest in building scratch built Great Lake freighters has led to his start up of the paper model boat kit company, Lake Freighter Minis, where he is able to use his creative and designing skills. He and his wife attended the 2014 Blue Water SandFest and enjoyed seeing all the amazing sand sculptures. After watching the Masters, receiving pointers from an Advanced Amateur and the "you can do this" support from his wife, he entered and won first place in the 2014 and 2015 Amateur Division and is the reigning Michigan State Champion for the Amateur Divsion. He is looking forward to competing in this Advanced Amateur Competition this year!
NON-COMPETING MASTER SCULPTORS AND STAFF
bILL & mARIANNE
Bill and Marianne found their love for sand sculpting
about 16 years ago when they began competing in amateur
contests. After winning several medals they became
professional sculptors in 2006. Their company "The Sand
Lovers" not only specializes in creating wonderful works
of art from piles of sand, they also manage some the
largest sand sculpting events in the U.S. In the past
few years Bill and Marianne have managed 21 major sand
sculpting events reaching almost 600,000 people. Bill
and Marianne will be organizing/managing this year’s
event, along with hosting "Quick Sand" and providing
sand sculpting demonstrations during the event.
Go to the beach, Play in the Sand, Have FUN and LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS!
As Member of the The Sand Lovers team Dennis assists in event management. He has been involved in sand sculpting and event mangement,
working with the Sand Lovers on a regular basis for many years. We are thankful to have him as a part of our team.
As Member of the The Sand Lovers team, April will be
providing "hands-on" lessons in the Kids Zone. April
began sand sculpting at a young age helping her Mom and
Dad (The Sand Lovers) on professional jobs. While April
currently lives in Michigan she travels back to Florida
as often as she can, especially if there is a beach