This weekend at Misquamicut State Beach, ten sculptors from around the world came to Westerly to produce and display their creations in the Atlantis Rising International Sand Sculpture Competition presented by the South County Tourism Council.

Many of the designs reflected an aquatic theme, while other artists decided to follow their own artistic inclinations. David Ducharme, a self-taught Canadian sculptor based in British Columbia mentioned that his entry, “Walking the Fish,” stuck to the theme. He even researched local marine life. Ducharme explained that the secret to these creations is the proper blend of sand and silt clay to make them stand. Once completed, they are sprayed with a mixture of water and school glue to protect against wind and rain.

Some of the other interesting sculptures included one that saw the tentacles of an octopus mated to the head of an elephant; another called “So Close” that had a man and woman back-to-back and seemed to depict a sailor separated from a woman by the sea; a “Ship of Fools;” and a 3-D sculpture of Pinocchio that seen from different angles showed completely different images of the cartoon puppet, with the reverse side showing Geppetto and the “real boy.”

Atlantis Rising (Photo: Thom Cahir)

Paul and Christine of Norwood, MA opined that they saw different levels of meaning every time they walked by the “So Close,” entry. While Elise from New Orleans and Nancy from Ashfield, MA, both in town for a wedding, hadn’t decided on their favorite yet but liked several of the entries. Beth from Coventry also hadn’t voted but said she was “in awe of the details in bringing their (the artists) visions to life, especially the Pinocchio.”

The competition continues Saturday until 9 pm, Sunday from 10 am-9 pm, and again Monday from 10 am-3 pm. Audience voting continues through Sunday and the winners will be announced Monday at 1 pm. There are about a dozen food vendors on site, a band playing on the main stage throughout the day, multiple vendors, and amusements for kids. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed and should be well-trained. The cost is $15 at the door. There is an ATM available outside the main entrance.

Following the completion of the competition, you can view a list of the winners here: https://www.southcountyri.com/.

Atlantis Rising (Photo: Thom Cahir)