Sculptors from around the world create messages in the sand [photos]

    Artists from the United States and around the world, from as far as Singapore and India, came to Atlantic City, N.J., to compete in the 2013 World Championship of Sand Sculpting. Pieces were designed and executed by sculptors, while visitors watched the creation process, participated in free lessons and got tips from the pros.

    One sand artist from Amsterdam, Johannes Hogebrink, was ecstatic to share his visions with the Jersey shore. He said that he sculpts for the opportunity to “make others happy by doing what I enjoy.”

    Carl Jara, a sculptor from Cleveland, said he believes that “sand sculpting is a spiritual experience.”

    But the spectators’ favorite in the solo competition was Atlantic City firefighter and artist, Matthew Deibert, who honored his sister Ann, a teacher who worked her whole life trying to improve literacy in the city.

    “I do like to win,” Deibert said. “But if I don’t, I like to leave a message on the beach. That’s what it’s all about, getting out there, playing in the sand, and having a lot of fun.”

    The competition takes place off the boardwalk near Caesar’s Casino from June 13-30.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.