Kids everywhere have started the season of building sandcastles this summer, but New Yorkers shouldn’t feel left out. Down at the foot of South Street Seaport, two artists have been hard at work carving a giant sand sculpture from 23 tons of sand! Located just in front of the historic Seaport Museum, Matthew Long and his assistant have been working diligently to carve the castle in promotion of a new exhibition at the museum.
The epic sand castle commemorates the ship fairing industry that once dominated the South Street Seaport region of Lower Manhattan. Over the course of a few days in the hot sun, Long carved a traditional shipping vessel, complete with eleven full sails hanging from the ship’s mast. The ship is centered in front of a scene of Colonial era dormered houses at sit in the distance on the seashore.
Each angle is meticulously carved with buckets, wedges, water, levels, and a line of sandcarving tools that Long has put his namesake to, which will be available for sale in conjunction with the exhibition at South Street Seaport. The tool set is geared toward older children and their parents, designed for the arty set, rather than sand castle loving toddlers at the beach.
Sadly, the sand sculpture ship faced the fate of many sand castles, as it was trampled on by vandals Friday night. Long and his crew (along with dozens of tourists) arrived Saturday morning to find the sand sculpture covered with foot prints, most likely the work of patrons of nearby bars that emptied out the night before.
But the vandal’s work didn’t get Long down. Being an ephemeral art medium anyway, Long and his crew quickly repaired the vessel, spending the greater part of Saturday reworking the sails, and firm lines of the outer structures in the piece.
Long’s expert sand carving skills have been featured on the Travel Channel’s Sand Masters series. New Yorkers and tourists can watch Long work on the ship sculpture themselves at South Street Seaport each day, which includes live demonstrations and lessons by the artist.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat