Exhibitions

Artists Hit the Beach for Creative Time's Sandcastle Sculpture Contest

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A saxophone playor performs at Jamie Isenstein's winning sand sculpture.
A saxophone playor performs at Jamie Isenstein's winning sand sculpture.
Marc Andre Robinson's shark.
Marc Andre Robinson's shark.
Duke Riley's White Castle-sponsored contribution.
Duke Riley's White Castle-sponsored contribution.
Rachel Owens's whale boat, in progress.
Rachel Owens's whale boat, in progress.
Christopher Robbins's pancake-making machine.
Christopher Robbins's pancake-making machine.
Judge Waris Ahluwalia announcing at the event.
Judge Waris Ahluwalia announcing at the event.
Natalie Jeremijenko prepares her piece.
Natalie Jeremijenko prepares her piece.

There were few actual castles at Creative Time's annual sandcastle competition in the Rockaways over the weekend. But the participating artists—David Brooks, Sebastian Errazuriz, Ghost of a Dream, Jamie Isenstein, Natalie Jeremijenko, Esperanza Mayobre, Rachel Owens, Duke Riley, Christopher Robbins, and Marc Andre Robinson—still got creative with some unusual sand-based sculptures and performance art.

Social sculptor Christopher Robbins orchestrated a Mousetrap-like assembly line to "cook" pancakes out of sand and catapult them at the crowd (and into a neighboring competitor's ring). Performance artist Jamie Isenstein constructed a temple to ephemerality with ice cubes and bubbles placed atop square and circular sand pedestals. At one point, a shirtless tenor saxophonist performed atop one of them. 

Duke Riley provided one of the only actual sandcastles, a parapeted barbican (or fortified gatehouse) that stood bordered by White Castle flags. The burger chain had agreed to sponsor Riley who, by the end, had proudly draped the company's flag over his shoulders like a cape. Riley, who helped judge the event last year, ultimately took home third place for his contribution.

This year's panel of judges, which included MoMA PS1 direcotr Klaus Biesenbach, collector  Shelly Fox Aarons, curator Dana Farouki, jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia, and last year's winning artists, Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw, awarded the second-prize silver shovel to Venezuelan-born artist Esperanza Mayobre for her sand raft. Isenstein, meanwhile, took home the top honor: $500, a golden shovel, and some booze.

See more pictures from the event in the slideshow above.

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