No Artist Sandcastle Competition for NYC This Year

The 2013 Creative Time Artist Sandcastle Competition.
Photo: Derek Schultz, courtesy Creative Time.

Sad news, folks: Art non-profit Creative Time will not be organizing its annual Artist Sandcastle Competition this year, as it had in 2012 and 2013, the organization confirmed to artnet News today. The contest, which typically took place in early August at Rockaway in Queens, pitted teams of artists against one another in a contest to create the most elaborate, absurd, or conceptually sound sandcastle possible in a few hours.

Past years’ participants included Duke Riley, Rachel Owens, Ryan McNamara, William Lamson, Tom Sachs, Dustin Yellin, and more. In the inaugural, 2012 edition, the duo of Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw came away with the golden shovel for best sandcastle for their Bruce Nauman-esque variation on a classical fountain. In 2013 it was Jamie Isenstein who emerged victorious after installing a series of disappearing ice sculptures and a live (and shirtless) saxophonist atop plinths of sand. Riley’s attempt to win over the judges with a White Castle-sponsored sandcastle in the shape of the famous fast food restaurant, complete with free burgers, only earned him third place. At this time it’s unclear whether the annual competition will resume in 2015.

To be fair, Creative Time has been pretty busy. The organization is coming off its hugely popular Kara Walker exhibition, and preparing for its next project, the multi-venue interdisciplinary exhibition “Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn.” In the meantime, art-hungry beach-goers can still get their fill at the Rockaways this year thanks to MoMA PS1—which has organized a major exhibition at Fort Tilden and Rockaway Beach—and the new local gallery Topless.

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