‘B’ Street Pier
1140 North Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

2019 Winners
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World Master Sculptors

  • Abram Waterman (7/11/2017) - Sculpting Since: 2007 Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada Abe Waterman was born and raised in idyllic Prince Edward Island, Canada. He says has been producing artwork since he was old enough to hold crayons and use each of his diapers as a fresh canvas. (Elders in the community recall that his diapers could be called […]
  • Agnese Rudzite-Kirillova (7/9/2016) - Sculpting Since: 2000 Location: Latvia Agnese loves to sculpt!  The material is almost immaterial.  She works in permanent media like metal, fiberglass, wood, bronze and stone.  She works in temporary media like ice and snow … and of course, sand. Then there’s Styrofoam and mixed media.  You name it. She has worked throughout Europe (Denmark, […]
  • Anique Kuizenga (7/19/2019) - Sculpting Since: 1996 Location: Groningen, The Netherlands Though Anique is driven by the nature of “fleeting” art through materials such as sand, ice and snow, she says her passion for sand sculpting will never die. That’s because she constantly draws inspiration from the people, sounds, and smells she encounters. Anique began her practice in 1996 […]
  • Benjamin Probanza (7/9/2016) - Sculpting Since: 1988 Location: Mexico City Born in Spain in 1963, Benjamin was attracted to art while still in the cradle.  While just a teenager, he performed painting exhibitions in his hometown of San Sebastian. He discovered sand sculpting at 25, and has been a leading figure in this art ever since.  In 1997, he participated in […]
  • Brian Turnbough Brian Turnbough (7/24/2018) - Sculpting Since: 2001 Location: Chicago, IL A lifelong resident of the Chicago suburbs, Brian earned a degree in painting and drawing from Eastern Illinois University. He has been sculpting sand professionally at events and festivals worldwide for over 18 years. Brian also paints murals and custom artwork for homes and businesses around the Chicago area […]
  • Bruce Phillips (4/13/2014) - Bruce has been involved in the art of sand sculpting for over 20 years (well over . . . but don’t tell him we said that).  He is known throughout the world, from Tokyo to Amsterdam.  He creates amazing works of art at festivals and competitions, and does corporate and private events as well.  In […]
  • Chris Guinto (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since:  2000 Location:  Key West, FL After several opportunities to have a career in different artistic fields, Chris chose to become a sand sculptor . . . one who pushes the envelope through unique design and amazing height, consistently “raising the bar”.  With a background in special effects and fine art, he combines the […]
  • Dan Belcher (4/17/2015) - Sculpting Since: 1990 Location: St. Louis, MO, USA Dan has been creating professional sand sculptures across the continent and around the globe for 29 years. He says he is honored to have learned from many pioneers of the art form, and now to have the privilege of collaborating with a family of many of the best new, talented […]
  • dave henderson Dave Henderson (2/15/2019) - Sculpting Since: 1990 Location: Alpine, CA During the 1990s, Dave was one of the planet’s top sand sculptors, winning the U.S. Open in Imperial Beach and a number of other competitions around the world. In 1998, he retired from touring to devote more time to his family and establish Henderson Sculptural Arts, a landscaping construction […]
  • Dmitry Klimenko Dmitry Klimenko (7/24/2018) - Sculpting Since: 2004 Location: St. Petersburg, Russia Dmitry finished Saint Petersburg State Academy of Art in 2004 and began carving in sand that very same year. Since then he’s taken part in international sand sculpture festivals in no less than 15 countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, […]
  • Fergus Mulvaney (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since: 1993 Location:  Dublin, Ireland Fate works in funny ways. Fergus Mulvany never thought about sand sculpting while studying fine art in Dublin. Even as a child, he was never drawn to playing in the sand at the beach. But Fergus’ name was randomly drawn from those of hundreds of students to participate in […]
  • Hanneke Supply (7/19/2019) - Sculpting Since: 2002 Location: Rotterdam, Holland Hanneke was drawn to sand sculpting in 2002 as a hobby outside of her day job as an interior designer. It only took a few months in the sand for a love of the craft to turn her life around. Hanneke left office work for a life of full-time […]
  • Helena Bangert (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since: 2000 Location: Netherlands Although Helena studied sculpting and installation art at the prestigious Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam, she admits she never considered sculpting in sand.  It wasn’t until 2000, two years after she graduated, when she was asked to create a sculpture at a retirement home for seamen, that her interest in […]
  • Ilya Filimontsev (4/17/2015) - Sculpting Since: 2005 Location: Moscow, Russia After studying at the art college in Moscow, Ilya worked as a jeweler/goldsmith designing and making jewelry for 7 years. While working as a jeweler he started making ice sculptures and found the combination of traveling and sculpting enjoyable. He quit the jewelry job and continued to study sculpture for 6 […]
  • Jihoon Choi (7/11/2017) - Sculpting Since: 2005 Location: Taijeon City, South Korea Now 42 years young, married with a beautiful daughter, Jihoon was born and raised in South Korea.  He studied environmental sculpture at the University of Taijeon, and has been dreaming of creating sand sculptures all his life.  For nearly 15 years now, he’s actually been doing it.  […]
  • John Gowdy (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since:  1990 Location:   Jersey Boy, now living in Italy John isn’t your average retired Atlantic City firefighter.  In fact, there’s nothing average about John at all.  He’s been fighting fires since 1980 and sculpting sand since 1990.  He retired as a Fire Captain in 2006, moved to Italy and became a full-time (and already […]
  • JOOheng Tan (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since:  2000 Location:  Singapore   2014 is the debut for JOOheng Tan at the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and we are immensely proud to have him here. Hailed as Vincent Sand Gogh by the London Daily Mail, JOOheng Tan fell in love with the art of sand sculpting in the late ‘90s.  His debut […]
  • Joris Kivits (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since:   2006 Location:   Netherlands Photographer? Graphic designer? Art director? Illustrator? Sculptor? Like most sand sculptors, Joris is…first and foremost…an artist. Whatever the medium, whatever the project, he believes that beauty should shine through. This mentality has guided his career in movies and television, in commercials and music videos, and has carried over into his […]
  • Katsuhiko Chaen (7/9/2016) - Sculpting Since: 1987 Location: Japan A 1983 graduate of Musashino Art University in Tokyo, Katsu has become one of the leading sand sculptors in the world.  He is also a renowned producer and director of amazing events that have been staged, not only in Japan, but also in Singapore, India, Kuwait, Italy, Holland, Canada and here […]
  • Kirk Rademaker (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since: 1997 Location: Stinson Beach, California When your nickname is “The Sand Guy” you’ve got to be good.  Of course, greatness doesn’t just happen overnight.  He was a fine carpenter, a cabinet maker, but he had the capacity to be even more creative.  His mission would be to carve.   In 1997 Kirk decided […]
  • Leonardo Ugolini Leonardo Ugolini (7/24/2018) - Sculpting Since: 1997 Location: Italy Born in Forli, Italy, in 1969, Leonardo was raised and educated there. Ever since childhood he has been fascinated by nature and space. Japanese cartoons showed him distant worlds of spaceships and aliens. The first book he bought was Volcanos. He spent his childhood drawing, modelling plasticine, playing with Lego […]
  • Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga Lucinda “Sandy Feet” Wierenga (7/24/2018) - Sculpting Since: 1987 Location: South Padre Island, TX She has competed in Masters level competitions and worked on projects around the world for over 30 years and has earned the wonderful appellation, “Sandy Feet.” She invented the job of “sandcastle instructor,” offering lessons and team building exercises to tens of thousands on South Padre Island since 1990, […]
  • Marielle Heessels Marielle Heessels (7/24/2018) - Sculpting Since: 2006 Location: Netherlands She started model drawing at the age of 15 and since then studying nature is the base of her art. After many years of painting and sculpting for museums and entertainment venues, she discovered sand sculpture. Because of its temporary quality, it became a perfect medium to learn and grow […]
  • Martijn Rijerse (7/19/2019) - Sculpting Since: 2000 Location: Rotterdam, Holland Martijn makes art for the soul. His work is both emotional and conceptual. Over the years, he has developed a style that frequently combines figurative and abstract designs. He hopes to invoke a particular emotion with each and every sculpture he creates. For this reason, Martjin’s work has been […]
  • Meg Murray Meg Murray (7/24/2018) - Sculpting Since: 2001 Location: Australia Tasmanian born, Meg had an early start to an artistic life, as her grandparents – the Architect and the Fine Artist – were a huge encouraging influence. Classically trained Meg has been painting canvases for over 35 years and has always been interested in trying new media. Meg developed a […]
  • Melineige Beauregard (7/28/2017) - Sculpting Since: 2001 Location: Quebec, Canada Some believe sand sculpting is art, some believe it’s a sport. While others, like Melineige, believe it’s a spiritual experience.  “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 said. […]
  • Michela Ciappini (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since: 2003 Location: Italy Michela’s artistic ambition was simple.  She wanted to draw.  And so she did, studying at the Art Institute in Italy.  But it was during a scenery course that she discovered a new direction for her creativity.  She worked as a set designer on several productions, creating background paintings and sculptures. […]
  • Morgan Rudluff (4/17/2015) - Sculpting Since: 2007 Location: Santa Cruz, CA, USA Morgan is a born an’ raised California girl. She likes beaches, flowers, avocados, fruit and bare feet. After dropping out of college in 2007, Morgan stumbled into sand sculpting (or it could be said that sand sculpting stumbled into her.) It began an immediate love affair, and though not […]
  • Pavel Mylnikov (7/19/2019) - Sculpting Since: 1989 Location: Moscow, Russia Pavel has been drawn to art since childhood. At the age of 19 he launched his career in sand sculpture and the rest is history. Pavel studied at Moscow’s Academic Art Institute Surikov and went on to develop a signature style of realism and surrealism. His work reflects an […]
  • Rusty Croft (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since: 1997 Location: Carmel, California When your first project sets a world record, you know you’re onto something big.  Such was the case with Rusty Croft, an Iowa kid who became an ice sculptor in Partyville, sometimes known as Park City, Utah.  Partying came to an end (not exactly) when he was smitten by […]
  • Sandis Kondrats (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since:  2001 Location:  Latvia World traveler, sculptor and entrepreneur, Sandis studied art for more than 16 years, starting at age 9.  He holds multiple Masters of Arts degrees from the Art Academy of Latvia. He has sculpted at contests, festivals and exhibitions all around the world, served as artistic and technical director for numerous […]
  • Sue McGrew (4/13/2014) - Sculpting Since: High School Location: Tacoma, Washington High School love doesn’t tend to last, but for Sue McGrew it hasn’t just lasted…it’s thrived.  She got a taste of sand sculpting in high school and was immediately smitten.  “I was hopelessly addicted,” she admitted.  And that love only grew when she went to USC to study […]
  • Susanne Ruseler (4/17/2015) - Sculpting Since: 2003 Location: the Netherlands While studying biology in college, Susanne Ruseler discovered that her true passion was not in dissecting animals but in honoring them via sculpture. She used several media in her quest to represent and beautify human beings and all creatures, sculpting in snow, ice, and sand. “I really enjoy alternating […]
  • Thomas Koet (7/9/2016) - Sculpting Since: 1996 Location: Melbourne, FL “The sand here on this pier in San Diego is incredible. It holds together so well, and it is so strong; you can do anything with it. Right here is where I make the most daring designs and push the sand to incredible shapes that would be impossible anywhere […]

USSSC + DAE is cancelled.

It was our great honor to have produced this iconic event for 8 years.  USA Today had named it to the ‘Top 10 in the Nation’ and American Express called it ‘one of the top 20 seaside festivals in the world’.

Hundreds of millions of media impressions were registered worldwide and over 40,000 attended the festivities each year on the downtown San Diego embarcadero. 

We thank the Master Sand Artists from Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas who created magnificent sculptures from nothing more than sand and water, as well as the artists who work in other media, the entertainers, food providers, sponsors, media, staff, suppliers, volunteers and the Port of San Diego who made the event possible.

Should a title sponsor or new production company wish to bring it back to benefit local non-profits and the Southern California community at large, we will endeavor to help advise as long as we are able. 

For now, enjoy the website from years past.*

Thank you once more.

Joyce and Gordon Summer, Executive Producers

on behalf of Bruce, Tricia, Steve and the entire USSSC team.

This Website sculpted one grain at a time by Web Services Management.