World-renowned sand sculptor Kali Bradford plans to create a special piece for the Reach and Row for Hospice and Waterfront Day event set for Saturday, Sept. 15, at John Wayne Marina.
Bradford is a local artist recruited by event organizers commissioned to create a sculpture in honor of the new festivities for this year’s fundraiser and events.
While she’s used to carving sand sculptures on a large scale — ranging anywhere from 3 to 64 feet — Bradford is carving a smaller sculpture for the event that donates funds to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.
Bradford said she thinks Sequim’s John Wayne Marina is a resource for the public and is hoping to add one of her sculptures to the event each year and possibly other sculpting opportunities, such as workshops.
“I think it’s the first big public use of the marina for a festival,” Bradford said.
For the event, Bradford has an image to work from and that her vision for the piece is an 8-foot sculpture of an older man bracing the steering wheel of a ship.
She said 10-tons of sand will arrive at the marina on Thursday, Sept. 13, and she will start piling and carving some of the sand the next day.
With the help of her grandson Jeremiah, she said the sculpture should take anywhere from five to six hours to complete on Sept. 15.
“It’s like a performance,” Bradford said. “At the beginning of the day there will be a pile of sand, and by the end of the day it’s a work of art.”
Bradford said she enjoys teaching through her artwork, particularly with her sculptures, and has created historical pieces in several places around the world. Her experiences includes sculpting sand in Asia, Europe, Australia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Sequim is no exception, as she’s sculpted sand for various events and businesses in town, including a sculpture for Sequim Lavender Weekend in 2015 and commercial sculptures at Adagio Bean & Leaf, 981 E. Washington St., where there is a designated sand pit.
Bradford said she hopes to create more sculpting opportunities at Adagio’s sand pit in the future.
“I like to make statements and teach people,” she said.
Bradford also was an artist-in-residence for nine years in California and two years in Washington granted by the National Endowment for the Arts.
With more than 30 years in sand sculpting, Bradford said she has “developed a network of extended family all over the planet” through her sand sculpting ventures.
And, at age 76, she said she doesn’t plan on quitting anytime soon.