By Maddy Vitale
Jenna Mazurowski, 8, may be a twin, but when it comes to creating a masterpiece out of sand, she prefers to work solo and let her sister, Ellie, showcase her artistic talents elsewhere – specifically a few yards away.
The twins joined other families to create works of art, albeit very temporary ones, during a sand sculpting contest at the 6th Street Beach in Ocean City Thursday morning.
Ocean City Special Events Director Michael Hartman and Junior Miss Ocean City Hope Aita judged the contest. All participants received ribbons. Special ribbons were awarded to the top sculptors. The categories were age 5 and under, ages 6-8, ages 9-11 and a family division. The top three in the family division were awarded cool trophies.
“I think she wants her own ribbon,” joked Jenna’s mom, Marti Mazurowski.
Jenna was crafting her “I Heart Ocean City” sand art and had little time to chat.
“I like to play in the sand,” she said simply, before she fixed her hands in a heart shaped position to leave an imprint in the sand.
She might get her competitive nature from her dad, Phil Mazurowski, who, along with sister, Ellie, and some cousins, were creating an interactive game in the sand called “OC Races.”
“We just try to find things interesting to make in the sand,” Phil Mazurowski said with a smile. “We live in Huntington, Pa., so we have a four hour drive to think about what we are going to make. We come down to Ocean City for vacation every year. We love it.”
Ellie was in charge of digging holes deep enough to catch the balls in the sand game. She had a little down time to watch, as family members tried their hand at the game. The idea was to roll a ball down each side of the large sand mass with an OC emblem in the middle. Whomever has the ball that rolls down the slope first, wins.
There was also a sand version of the popular Boardwalk arcade game “Skee-Ball.” Some other pieces that intrigued spectators included a bejeweled octopus, a cute frog, Sponge Bob, a sea creature, a hand on a baseball, and other imaginative sculptures.
One particularly elaborate sculpture was done by father-daughter team Andrew and Lilly Kirkpatrick from Media, P.a. They crafted an ornate castle complete with a waterfall.
“It’s pretty cool,” Lilly, 11, said.
At the end of the contest the Kirkpatricks took first place in the family division for their sand sculpture wonder.
Beth Quittman’s sons Max, 6, and Oliver, 8, were all prepared to make sand sculptures in the contest. They had their buckets and shovels.
But after a few minutes, something happened.
“It appears giant piles of sand aren’t going to go anywhere,” Quittman said with a laugh as Max seemed to abandon the project to head to the water’s edge within minutes of the start of the competition.
When Oliver joined his younger brother, Quittman said, “Maybe it is a good time for some French fries.”
Later the boys teamed up to make some sand creation and were awarded second place in their age group.
While families enjoyed their time working together to make the momentary artforms, some of the adults in the solo category were a bit more serious.
“I make quilts,” said Nanette Hunsinger, of Pennsylvania, who said despite her artistic talent, she isn’t a professional artist. “I’m a homemaker.”
But she is very familiar with sand sculpting. “Every year I get better,” she said, while intently using a card to make lines in what would soon turn into a baseball.
Hunsinger tied for second place.
Art teacher Kathy Nichols, of Beesley’s Point, had a bit of an advantage. She is an art teacher in North Wildwood.
“I mostly do watercolors, but, as a teacher, I do other art forms,” Nichols said adding that sand art can be challenging.
One of the frogs in Nichol’s sculpture is in full view and has a friendly face. The other frog is leaping, and you could only see its backside and legs.
“I call it leap frog,” Nichols, who came in first in the adult division, said of her amphibians.