Many residents of San Diego have come accustomed to the famous U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition held at Imperial Beach every year since 1980. Unfortunately this year fans of the competition were struck with some upsetting news, the sandcastle competition was canceled due to rising costs accrued by the city as well as a lack of volunteers and resources. This two day competition knew how to draw a crowd with over hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world flocking to see these amazing sand creations.
The last few years Platt College has participated in the sandcastle competition taking home a 2nd place trophy each year! So of course everyone at Platt was devastated to hear that this year there would no longer be a sandcastle competition. That’s when Platt graduate Krystiana Brzuza-Hardisty came to the rescue! Having participated in the competitions in the past she wasn’t going to let the official competition’s cancellation prevent Platt students from a fun day with fellow classmates, friends and family at the beach. This year she took on the daunting task of arranging the first ever Platt exclusive sand sculpture competition and her hard work to put everything together turned out wonderfully! Everyone had such a fun time and bystanders from all over the beach gathered around the different sculptures that Platt students created. Platt’s Dean, Marketa Hancova, announced at the end of the day that she would call it the First Annual Platt College Sand Sculpture Competition due to the huge success of the event.
The theme of this year’s competition was Platt College and all subjects or areas of study that the school has to offer. The sculptures were judged on design, details, space, neatness, and completion. And as with any Platt event awards were given for the top 2 designs and everyone who participated was given a free ticket to the movies! The competition began at 7:30 in the morning and judging commenced at 3:30 pm. So it was a long day of sculpting but Platt students kept working hard to finish their beautiful designs. People from all over the beach gathered to find out if their favorite sculpture had won!
When the creative minds at Platt join together to create something one can’t help but notice the talent the students possess not just in the world of Digital Media Design but also in other challenging mediums such as sand. The teamwork involved in sand sculpting is just as important as the idea itself. Before any actual sculpting can start to take shape each team has to lug large buckets filled with ocean water to their sectioned off plot of sand. This alone is tiring work which can take up to an hour to get the plot of sand prepared. But once sculpting can begin it doesn’t stop there! At that point the teams have to keep continually dumping water on their sculpture to make sure that it doesn’t crumble after construction.
The talented group of designers had a variety of different sculptures when all was said and done. Several of the Associates and Bachelors degree students who participated included, Brittany Lindsay, Cassaundra Smyth, Ethan Leonard II, Brian Bridwell, Matt Lambert, Christian Saldarriaga, Dave Downes, Natasha Englehardt, and Krystiana Brzuza-Hardisty.
Team #1 sculpted a large Sphinx as well as a pyramid. Team #2 was the winner of the competition with an intricate sand sculpted representation of a vintage postcard of the state of California. Careful detail was added to the sculpture from the trees on Mt. Shasta to a miniature version of Platt College! Team #3 sculpted a beautiful mermaid on the coast of San Diego with the rolling hills in the background with PLATT carved into the side reminiscent of the Hollywood sign. Team #4 created a giant dragon sand sculpture. It was so huge it took up the entire plot of sand! Team #5 were the runners up with a creative concept of a digital mouse that was reminiscent of paintings from Salvador Dali. With a mouse face, a digital mouse body and a usb tail as well!
The two winning teams were awarded with medals as well as gift certificates for a job well done. And everyone who participated was honored on campus during Platt’s Freedom Celebration, with a free movie ticket and a beautiful certificate with their name. The sand sculpture competition was a huge success thanks to Krystiana’s wonderful planning and dedication. This hard work from the students shows that whatever the challenge may be Platt Digital Media Design students always rise to the occasion with smiles on their faces.
Blog & Photography by Natasha Englehardt