World’s top sand sculptors warm up in San Diego.

Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri and Ilya Filimontsev from Moscow, Russia, work together on the big event's welcoming Team USA sand sculpture.
Dan Belcher from St. Louis, Missouri and Ilya Filimontsev from Moscow, Russia, work together on the big event’s welcoming “Team USA” sand sculpture.

The 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition is coming next weekend! Between this very special annual event, and the equally amazing Festival of Sail which will be held a short distance up the Embarcadero, the long Labor Day weekend is going to be awesome!

Today I walked along the waterfront in the warm sunshine to see if anything interesting was going on.

Not only has quarry sand been dumped in large piles along the B Street Pier, right next to the Cruise Ship Terminal, but sand sculptures which welcome visitors to the event were being readied by a few of the world’s top sand masters! I briefly met Dan Belcher, Ilya Filimontsev and Susanne Ruseler, three of the best, most talented sand sculptors on the planet! And all were really nice people! They and the other world-class sand artists who will compete at the event have won many top awards. Dan, alone, has won 14 world championships!

Ilya is new to the San Diego competition this year, and so is Susanne. When I spoke to Susanne, I remembered how Chris Guinto, several days before last year’s competition, told me his still unformed creation was secret. Susanne remarked that plans aren’t so much a secret–it’s that they’re only partially formed when the work begins. The act of sand sculpting is dynamic, and sometimes changes have to be made mid-creation for either artistic or structural reasons. I asked if she ever accidentally knocked down portions of a sand sculpture and she replied: “Yes!” But it’s something you get used to and work around. It’s just something one can expect when working with sand.

Funny. According to a notification I received from WordPress, today is the two year anniversary of Cool San Diego Sights. And during those two years, the most “liked” blog post is from last year’s U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge! You might enjoy seeing last year’s jaw-dropping entries!

The 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge is coming to San Diego's B Street Pier, next to the Cruise Ship Terminal, this Labor Day weekend!
The 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge is coming to San Diego’s B Street Pier, next to the Cruise Ship Terminal, this Labor Day weekend!
Dan is helping to create this non-competitive sculpture near the entrance to the 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge at Harbor Drive.
Dan is helping to prepare this sculpture near the entrance to the 2015 U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge at Harbor Drive.
These mounds of quarry sand from East County were dumped on the B Street Pier several days ago. They'll be used by the competing sand masters later this week.
These mounds of quarry sand from East County were dumped on the B Street Pier several days ago. They’ll be used by the competing sand masters later this week.
Susanne Ruseler, from the Netherlands, is another new competitor this year. She was super nice and talked for a bit.
Susanne Ruseler, from the Netherlands, is another new competitor this year. She was super nice and talked for a bit.
Susanne is carefully working on another cool sand sculpture for event visitors. I can't wait to see what she produces during the competition!
Susanne is carefully working on another cool sand sculpture for event visitors. I can’t wait to see what she produces during the competition!

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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