SCAD Sand Arts Festival

Make a splash at SCAD Sand Arts Festival 2019

Friday, May 3, 2019

Tybee Island, GA

South Beach by Tybee Pier

Think outside the sandbox at SCAD Sand Arts Festival 2019, featuring guest artist and foundation studies professor Gerry Stecca (M.F.A., painting, 2015). Creativity shines on Tybee Island's beautiful South Beach as fantastic concoctions rise from the sand. Make a splash with your brilliant creation, cheer on the artists or just enjoy the beachy vibes. This free, public event is not to be missed.

Participation is open to SCAD students, alumni, faculty and staff who vie for top prizes, including the coveted SCAD Spirit award.

Online registration

Online registration for SCAD Sand Arts Festival 2019 is now closed.

Team selections for registered participants are made on the day of the event at The Hive, starting at 8 a.m., prior to boarding the buses. 

View additional check-in details

SCAD Sand Arts Festival is presented by the SCAD School of Foundation Studies.

For more information, email foundation studies professor Deni Javas at [email protected].

Contest Rules

Competitions are open to SCAD students, alumni, faculty and staff, who may compete individually or in teams of up to four members. Work in all categories is judged on creativity of design, quality of craft and excellence of detail.

Contestants may begin work at 10 a.m., Friday, May 3. Sculpting in the wrong area before that time may result in participants being asked to start over in the correct area. Contestants should also work above the tide line. Look for the high tide signs.

Participants are responsible for all materials brought to the beach. No glass is permitted, and all garbage and materials should be collected, stored, discarded or removed from the beach by the end of the day. Contestants may not walk in the sand dunes or disturb the beach grass.

The festival is a family event. Any artwork that contains nudity, profanity or other content deemed inappropriate by festival officials will be removed.

Judges or festival officials can disqualify artists for failure to adhere to any of the above guidelines.

Sand categories

(Includes sand castle, sand sculpture and sand relief categories)

  • Entries in the sand castle, sculpture and sand relief competitions must contain only sand and natural objects found on the beach, such as shells, driftwood and seaweed. The use of color or binding agents other than water is not permitted.

Sand castle category

  • Sculpt large-scale works resembling castle architecture.

Sand relief category

  • Relief is a hybrid between drawing and sculpture.
  • These 3-D works are shorter than sand sculptures — less than three feet tall.
  • Relief entries may be carved into the beach, modeled on top or both.
  • Works may be representational, abstract or nonrepresentational.

Sand sculpture category

  • These large-scale works must be at least three feet tall.
  • Works should be sculpted fully in the round.
  • Works may be representational, abstract or nonrepresentational.

Air category

  • Entries in the air competition may include kites, whirligigs, windsocks, and kinetic, wind-powered objects.
  • Entries must be self-sufficient and sturdy and cannot require the use of a generator or electronics for assistance.
  • Human-powered projects that interact with the wind are acceptable.
  • Contestants may arrive with their work anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Friday, May 3, 2019.

Sand jam category

Take part in a "Sand Gesture Jam" on the beach, drawing the events of the SCAD Sand Arts Festival 2019 in real time.

  • Bring drawing media (brush pens, markers, felt-tip pens, Copic markers, etc.) and a personal sketchbook for warmups.
  • At the Sand Jam tent, pick up materials on which to draw your final piece.
  • Subject matter and color palette are open.
  • Submit your best sketch and return clipboards to the Sand Jam tent by 2:30 p.m.
  • Judges look for expression of mark making, sense of mass, technical handling of media and movement.
  • An exhibition of selected entries will be held after the festival.

What to bring

  • Picnic lunch
  • Drinking water
  • Sunscreen
  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Carving tools (putty knife, trowel, spoon, etc.)
  • Cheap paint brush
  • For Sand Jam: pencil and a sketchbook

Awards and prizes

Each registered individual or group is eligible to win no more than one award or prize. Only students who have registered to compete will be eligible to receive prize money. Participants must be present to collect the awarded prize and are required to fill out appropriate paperwork for the disbursement of prize money to individuals or teams.

Participants vie for the following overall awards:

  • SCAD40 Anniversary Award: $2,500 — must celebrate the 40th anniversary of SCAD, including at least one visual representation of the university's history.
  • Best of Show: $1,200 — chosen by SCAD alumnus and mentor Gerry Stecca (M.F.A., painting, 2015).
  • SCAD Student Group: $1,000 — open only to groups of foundation studies students for designs in all categories except Sand Jam.
  • Class Project: $1,000 — open to designs in all categories except Sand Jam in which an entire class (outside of foundation studies) participates. Eligible classes will be chosen by the Sand Arts committee prior to the event.

Participants also compete for the following category-specific prizes. Winners of overall awards are not eligible to win these prizes.

Sand castle

  • Winner: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $800

Sand relief

  • Winner: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $800

Sand sculpture

  • Winner: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $800


  • Winner: $1,000
  • Runner-up: $800

Sand jam

  • Winner: $500
  • Runner-up: $300

For more information please contact Deni Javas at [email protected].

SCAD student participant check-in

Check-in for all student participants is at The Hive, 8-10 a.m. Transportation to Tybee Island is offered for all registered participants from the Hive until 10:30 a.m., or participants may drive themselves to the beach once they have checked in.

All registrants are required to bring their signed liability form to check-in where they will receive an entry wristband, make their team selections and be assigned an area on the beach in their selected category. Return transportation is available all day, with several buses arriving at 4 p.m. and the final bus leaving Tybee Island at 5 p.m.

For more information regarding check-in at The Hive, email [email protected].

Driving directions

  • Follow U.S. Highway 80 East (Victory Boulevard) to Tybee Island.
  • Drive approximately 17 miles from East Victory Boulevard and Abercorn Street to the turn at Butler Avenue on Tybee Island and continue south.
  • Parking lots are located at the east end of 14th, 15th and 16th Streets.
  • Overflow parking is available at the metered spaces located on Highway 80 (Butler Avenue) and on the adjoining side streets.
  • Once parked, head for the 15th Street ramp to the beach. The competition area is located between 14th Street and Atlantic Avenue, north of the pier.


For contestants

Students are strongly encouraged to use free SCAD buses or carpool due to limited parking on Tybee Island. You are required to pay for parking. Improper parking may result in your car being ticketed or towed.

For visitors

Visitors may use inexpensive metered parking on Highway 80 (Butler Avenue). Side street parking is allowed only in metered areas. Participants and spectators at the SCAD Sand Arts Festival should be respectful of Tybee residents and their homes at all times.

For more information please contact Deni Javas at [email protected].