The Coast News Group

Sand art contest celebrates the end of summer

OCEANSIDE — Oceanside Museum of Art will host a sand art contest at the Oceanside Pier Sept. 6. Teams of up to four can register to be part of family sandcastle building or sand art competition, which awards a $100 prize.

Each team will have an 8-foot-by-8-foot space to build. Beach sand, ocean water and any natural found items can be used to create a sand sculpture.

Teams need to come with their own equipment to dig and haul, and may bring forms to shape the sand. A time limit of two hours is set to complete sand sculptures.

“They’re allowed to bring tools, but nothing  mechanical,” Julie Fister, Oceanside Museum of Art director of education, said. “They can add any natural things found at the beach.”

This is the second year of the annual contest. Robert Pendleton, museum board of trustees president and owner of Pendleton Eye Center, which sponsors the event, said he tried his hand at entering the competition last year.

Pendleton said it was a fun, but a lot more work than he anticipated. He added with the right team he might enter again this year.

The competition will be judged by Oceanside firefighters and local artist BB Bastidas.

Contest entry fees serve as a fundraiser for the museum’s child education programs and scholarships.

“Part of our mission is to celebrate arts, engage, educate and promote innovation,”  Pendleton said. “Education fits right in the center of that.”

In addition to the sand art contest there will be a Free Family Art Day at the beach picnic tables. The theme of the contest and free crafts is ocean, music and animals.

Families will learn to make whimsical cardboard ukuleles, which will have rubber band strings to strum. The craft includes cutting out a ukulele from recycled cardboard, and decorating it with colored sand, markers and crayons.

There will also be strolling ukulele players to inspire creativity. Families can join in the music making with fun percussion instruments, which will be provided.

“It’s open to the public to come on by and participate,” Pendleton said. “Kids can jump right in.”

Raffle prizes and giveaways, including free passes to the museum, will be part of the fun.

Fister said the event was well received last year.

“We had a tremendous response,” Fister said. “People were thrilled with the free family art part of it. Outdoors is a beautiful way to do art.”

The Free Family Art Days is part of the museum’s child education program. Other components include museum classes, the ArtQuest fifth-grade education program and outreach classes.

Check-in for the sand art contest begins at 9 a.m. Sept. 6. The event will be held on the south side of the pier. For more information, go to