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Master Solo Sculptors

Master Solo Sculptors

Albert Lucio Sr.

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Albert Lucio, Sr. started sculpting sand in 2005 when his son, Albert Jr., recruited the family to compete in their first-ever sand sculpting event, C101’s C-Sculptures.

Since then, Lucio has continued to sculpt in duo and solo categories from amateur to semi-pro levels. He has won awards for his sculptures across Texas, Florida and Michigan.

Lucio first competed at Texas SandFest in 2007. He and his son won first place in the amateur duo category and took home a People’s Choice award. He has won awards in duo and solo categories at C101 C-Sculptures, Sandcastle Days and Texas SandFest.

When not sculpting, Lucio is a martial arts instructor, with more than 30 years of training. He is a proud father of four children and eight grandchildren.

Amanda Bolduc

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Born and raised in beautiful Maine, Amanda received a degree in Psychology from Univ. of Maine, Farmington while working for the Maine Army National Guard. After graduation, she worked in the field of H.R. until 9-11 and decided to make the Army her full-time job and became a Combat Engineer Officer. This was all well and good until the babies started coming. She hung up her M16 for a new role, a “homeschool mama” and started playing the sand.

Her sand sculpting journey began on the beaches of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. During family vacations she would attend sand sculpting events year after year, and in 2006 finally decided she wanted to try it herself. Armed with nothing but a shovel and a bucket, Amanda, along with her mother, set to work creating her first sand sculpture. She quickly realized that sand sculpting was not as easy as it looked. It took hours back breaking hard work and determination to create a sculpture that was both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. But the satisfaction of hearing the crowd’s reaction, made her realize this first sculpture was worth all the effort.

Since then, Amanda has gone on to compete throughout the U.S. at Semi-Pro competitions and recently moved up the ranks to Master Sculptor in 2022. Additionally, Amanda started carving snow in 2015 and competes annually at the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship in Lake Geneva, WI along with fellow sand competitors Bruce Peck and Dan Belcher.

Christy Atkinson

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Christy McDonald Atkinson (the artist formerly known as “Walter’s daughter”)


Flying solo this year, Christy is thrilled to be continuing the family dynasty. As a duo team with her dad, the Amazin’ Walter, they won 9 awards at Texas Sand Fest and numerous at many other events. As a solo artist Christy won the highly coveted Trifecta (1st place, people’s choice and sculptor’s choice) at the Michigan City, Indiana’s “Singing Sands Sand Sculpture Festival” in 2022.

Christy and her fabulous husband, Darren Atkinson, are the event coordinators for the “Crossroads Sand Sculpting Competition and Festival” hosted by the Hearne, TX Chamber of Commerce. The next one is planned for September 15-17, 2023. SAVE the DATE!

Christy and Darren live in Franklin, Tx on the “Funny Farm”. When not carving sand, Christy earns a living as a family entertainer, balloon twister, face painter, juggler, electrician’s assistant, Sheetrock star, seamstress and jelly maker. She also loves to crochet, play the ukulele, Star Wars and her 3 cats (Cleocatra, Farrah Pawcett and Mozzarella). Christy also loves jokes, good or bad.  Please share your favorite with her!

Abe Waterman


Abe Waterman was born and raised in Prince Edward Island, Canada. He is brilliant in his humor, his out of the box thinking, and his sand sculpting ability. He is a much valued sculptor here at Texas SandFest.


He uses ephemeral materials like snow and sand, and only occasionally creates more permanent works in wood and stone. He has traveled from coast to coast in Canada and the U.S., competing in contests and  exhibiting his art.


You might spot him in Port Aransas wearing a flag cape or drinking a Founder's All Day IPA. Abe is full of surprises. Check out his "Creative Bio" at his plot during the contest. Abe is AWESOME!

Greg Grady

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A self-taught artist and a 2nd generation sand sculptor, Greg is a Marine vet who calls New Hampshire's 13 mile coastline home. What started as a summer hobby on family vacations had turned into following in footsteps of his father; a creative pilgramage, exploration and study into the world of sand sculpture.


His’ Irish luck would have him apprenticing under the world’s best sand sculptors, playing in the biggest of sand boxes, and traveling to beaches across the country. A passion has turned into a career and over the past 15 years and Greg has made sand sculptures for every event imaginable, collaborated with the worlds' best sculptors and  competed professionally around the globe.


Greg loves what he does and feels blessed to have found his niche in such a wonderous art form and creative community. 

For Installations, attractions & promotions: 

Thomas Koet

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Thomas Koet Satellite Beach, Florida and on Instagram #sandsationalsand

Thomas had never expected to work in the sandbox for a living but has always felt an urge to do something artistic, creative, and technical like architecture or engineering. Soon after Thomas received his Master’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering in the Netherlands a friend introduced him to sculpting sand. Immediately he was drawn to the medium and has since been a designer and sculptor for some of Europe’s and North America’s largest sand sculpting events.


Thomas’ artistic goal is to make extraordinary sculptures with the highest quality possible. His ability and talent have taken him all over America and Europe as well as*China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Qatar and Canada. A fierce competitor, Thomas has won many first place, sculptor's choice and other titles in contests worldwide. In 2010 he won the World Champion of Sand

Sculpting. His World Champion win was a proud moment in his career.


He has been sculpting for over 25 years and you can see his work at and on Instagram #sandsationalsand.

Bruce Phillips

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1) Home: Carlsbad, California USA
2) Born:    January 3, 1965
3) Favorite word: AWESOME!!!
4) Favorite color: Orange

Bruce has been involved in the art of sand sculpting for over 30 years. (Well over!) He’s created sand art from Tokyo to Amsterdam and from Bogota to Denmark. He’s competed in multiple contests over the years and has been featured in several television reality shows focused on the art of sand sculpting.

Bruce’s talents as a sand artist reach further as he enjoys building custom cars and hot rods. Complete builds from the ground up covering initial design, restoration, metal fabrication and on to final paint.

“I just enjoy creating something from nothing”!
Last but absolutely not least, a very proud father to his daughter Ava!

Dmitry Klimenko


Dmitry finished Saint Petersburg State Academy of Art in 2004 and began carving in sand that very same year. Since then he’s taken part in international sand sculpture festivals in no less than 15 countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Poland, Taiwan, the United States and, of course, his native Russia. Wow, that’s tiring.

Like all of the World Masters participating in the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge, Dmitry has won numerous awards and has worked in a number of media as well, including ice, bronze and wood.

He’ll never stop working in sand, though, as he says that creating with his peers all over the world provides him with continuous possibilities to learn. Bravo, Dmitri!


Notable Achievements:

  • 2017 – Grand prize, doubles with David duCharme, Canadian Open, Parksville Beach, B.C.

  • 2016 – Sculptors’ Choice, International Sand Sculpting Competition, Revere Beach, MA

  • 2016 – 2nd place, doubles with Andrius Petkus, Crystal Classic, Siesta Key, FL

Jeff Strong

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Jeff Strong strives to create shapes in sand that have beautiful form, and sometimes push sand and gravity to the limit. 


He began carving sand in 2001 on the chilly beaches of Washington and Oregon, racing the tide in team contests. Sand sculpture became a consuming pastime that he pursued on vacations from his computer work at University of Puget Sound.


Jeff’s first major solo competition was right here at Texas SandFest in 2005 and he has returned over a dozen times. He says that hanging out with sculptors and the people of Port Aransas make this one of his favorite events each year.

Joaquin Cortez


Joaquin Cortez is a lifelong creative artist from Stephenville Texas, with a background in multiple art mediums. Joaquin studied 3d computer animation at the Art Institute of Dallas before turning to creating art with plants and making land art in nature. In 2014 he discovered

sand sculpting on a family vacation to South Padre Island.

"The Amazin' Walter" gave his family a sandcastle lesson and the rest is history, Joaquin immediately quit his day job to start traveling and training to become a sand sculptor.


After thousands of miles of travel from beaches to festivals and events creating countless heart warming public reactions, Cortez has a new career carving sand. Joaquin is realizing his childhood dream of inspiring the public with meaningful art projects in Sand, Wood, Concrete, and more at

Bruce Peck-Alternative

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Bruce’s background is hard to nail down since he likes to go by the alias of “Pecknow” when in Port A for Texas Sandfest. However, we were able to find out a little about his past. Bruce was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. It only took one year of studying architecture to scare him far, far away from the arts, into a lifelong career as a CPA. That career took him all over the U.S. and Canada and kept the left side of his brain on overload. For almost 30 years, his most artistic endeavor was clipping coupons from the Sunday paper.

Then he moved to the Gulf Coast of Florida. Playing on some of the best beaches in the United

States turned out to be his path back to his lost love for creating art. Pecknow has spent the next six years developing his skills through trial and error at amateur contests throughout the U.S. His

breakthrough moment actually came here at Texas Sandfest four years ago when he won the Semi-Pro division with his sculpture of Muhammad Ali in an iconic pose.


He has consistently been in the awards since then, so he moved up to the Master Division here at

Texas Sandfest a couple years ago! Be sure to show him some of that Port A hospitality and wish

him luck competing carving alongside some of the best in the world!

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