Event

Spend a day at the beach at annual SCAD Sand Arts Festival

Friday, May 1, 2015

Tybee Island, GA

Tybee Island, North Beach

30 Meddin Drive


SCAD Sand Arts Festival: it’s one for the bucket list. Spend the day on Tybee Island’s picturesque North Beach and watch in awe as elaborate creations rise from the sand. Enjoy the picture-perfect setting and cheer on your favorite SCAD artists. Just make sure to get there before the tide comes in!

Presented by the School of Foundation Studies, School of Fine Arts and the sculpture minor program, SCAD Sand Arts Festival features competitions for sand castle, sand sculpture, sand relief and wind sculpture. Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary also sponsors an Underwater Sea Creature Award for the best creation from the deep, real or imagined. Several specialty awards — SCAD Spirit, SCAD Castles, Most Ambitious and an Alumni Choice — have been added to the lineup, too!

A panel of judges, including world champion sand sculptor Ted Siebert, selected three winners in each of the four main categories. As owner and lead sculptor at the Sand Sculpture Company, Siebert has helped set seven Guinness World Records with his competitive sand-sculpting team, and holds World, U.S. and Canadian championship titles.

See the 2015 winners

For more information, email Matt Toole.

The competition is open to SCAD students, alumni, faculty and staff, who may compete individually or in teams of up to four members, and for high school students, who may also compete in teams of up to four members.

  • Registration takes place on-site for SCAD students, alumni, faculty and staff. Participating high school students must pre-register for the event.
  • Entries in the sand castle, sculpture and sand relief contests must contain only sand and natural objects found on the beach, such as shells, driftwood and seaweed.
  • Contestants may not walk in the sand dunes or disturb the sea grass.
  • Applying color or binding agents other than water is not permitted.
  • Contestants may begin working at any time.
  • Contestants who begin sculpting before 10 a.m. should view the festival map within the Getting There tab to ensure their projects are in the correct contest area.
  • Low tide is at 1 p.m. and high tide occurs at 6 p.m. Sculptors should consider an appropriate distance from the water to avoid washout before judging.

What to bring

  • Picnic lunch
  • Drinking water
  • Sunscreen
  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Carving tools (putty knife, trowel, spoon, etc.)
  • Cheap paint brush

Competition categories

SCAD students, alumni, faculty and staff may compete in any of the four categories below or in the Gray's Reef Best Underwater Creature contest. High school participants compete against each other by following the guidelines for either the sand castle or sand sculpture categories.

Sand castle

  • Sculpt large-scale works resembling castle architecture.
  • Works are judged for creativity of design, quality of craft and excellence of detail.

Sand sculpture

  • Create large-scale works at least 3 feet tall.
  • Works should be sculpted fully in the round.
  • Attention should focus on creativity of concept and design as well as excellence of craft and detail.
  • Works may be representational, abstract or nonrepresentational.

Sand relief

  • Relief is a hybrid between drawing and sculpture.
  • These 3-D works have less height than a sand sculpture — less than 3-feet tall.
  • Relief entries may be carved into the beach, modeled on top or both.
  • Jurors look for large-scale works containing low relief, high relief or both.
  • Attention should focus on creativity of concept and design as well as excellence of craft and detail.
  • Works may be representational, abstract or nonrepresentational.

Wind sculpture

  • Wind sculptures are 3-D forms that engage the wind.
  • Entries may be handheld, such as kites, or freestanding structures.
  • Jurors look for sculptures with a high degree of wind interaction, structural strength, creativity of design, and excellence of craft and detail.
  • The contest is open to any media, scale and forming technique.
  • Entries may be representational, abstract or nonrepresentational.

Gray's Reef Best Underwater Creature contest

Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary is sponsoring first-, second- and third-place awards for "Best Underwater Creature" (actual or fantasy) created within any of the above categories. Awards are presented by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation through Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

Awards and prizes

In each of the four main categories above and in the Gray's Reef Best Underwater Creature contest, participants vie for the following prizes:

  • First place: $800
  • Second place: $500
  • Third place: $300

Specialty awards

  • SCAD Spirit: $1,000 — Features SCAD-based imagery, chosen from any category.
  • SCAD Castles: $800 — Includes any SCAD architecture as a main theme, chosen from the sand castle category.
  • Alumni Choice: $800 — Chosen by SCAD alumni, from any category.
  • Most Ambitious: $800 — Chosen by world champion sand sculptor Ted Siebert for the most ambitious and creative large-scale work in any category.

High School Competition awards

All high school teams, regardless of whether they construct a sand castle or a sand sculpture, compete against each other for gift cards to shopSCAD. Each winning team member receives an award.

  • First place: $50 shopSCAD gift card
  • Second place: $25 shopSCAD gift card
  • Third place: $15 shopSCAD gift card

SCAD students, alumni, faculty and staff registration

All participating SCAD students, alumni, faculty and staff members register on-site beginning at 10 a.m., Friday, May 1. Participants ompete individually or in teams of up to four members. Team designations can be made during registration.

High school student registration

High school students are invited to experience SCAD’s creative environment by entering the festival’s High School Competition.

All high school students must register in advance. High School Competition participants should meet up at Poetter Hall at 10 a.m., Friday, May 1, for check-in and transportation to Tybee Island’s North Beach. Shuttles will return to Poetter Hall at 4 p.m. All participants receive a boxed lunch.

Registering as an individual high school student

If you are a high school student who would like to participate in the SCAD Sand Arts Festival, you must pre-register. All high school participants compete in teams of up to four members, and specific team preferences can be expressed during check-in. If a participant has no team preference, event staff will help assign them to one.

Registering multiple high school students at once

If you are a high school teacher, administrator or chaperone, you may pre-register several high school students at one time to participate in the competition. Participants compete in teams of up to four members, and specific team preferences can be expressed during check-in. If any participant does not have a preferred team, event staff will help assign them to one.

For more information about the High School Competition, email Adeline Glidewell or Kayla Boston.

High school student participants

High school students meet before the event at Poetter Hall at 10 a.m., Friday, May 1, for check-in and transportation to Tybee Island’s North Beach. Shuttles return to Poetter Hall at 4 p.m.

SCAD student participants

Catch a ride from the residence halls to North Beach and back. Buses loop continuously between the residence halls and Tybee Island throughout the day, picking up students at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. from D at The Hive, W at The Hive, Turner House and Oglethorpe House. Buses depart from Tybee Island at 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Driving directions

  • Follow Highway 80 to Tybee Island.
  • Turn left at the first stoplight onto Campbell Street.
  • At the end of Campbell Street, turn left onto Van Horn Street.
  • Take the first right onto Meddin Drive. Continue on Meddin Drive to Fort Screven.
  • Just before Fort Screven, turn right onto the dirt road leading to the beach parking lot.
  • Overflow parking is available at the new police department at the corner of Fort Avenue. and Van Horne Street.  Additional overflow parking will be at the Jaycee Park off Van Horne Street.
  • Follow the center boardwalk, directly across from the North Beach Grill, to the registration tables.

Parking

For contestants
Just before you reach Fort Screven, turn right onto the dirt road leading to the beach parking lot. Limited free parking permits are issued during registration (one permit per team) and are only valid in the large, unpaved parking lot behind Fort Screven.

Students are highly encouraged to use free SCAD buses and to carpool due to limited parking on Tybee Island.

For visitors
Visitors may use inexpensive metered parking in front of the Tybee Museum and two blocks away at the police station. Side street parking is not allowed.

Download the parking map