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20 Tons of Sand Working Toward Feature of Utah Arts Festival

Artfest Sand Pile.JPG

With the sand dumped out into a pile at 200 East and 400 South in Salt Lake City, artist Ted Siebert with the Sand Sculpture company is ready to get to work, creating a sculpture of a flamenco dancer.

“First thing we have to do is we have to pack the sand inside these wooden forms here. It’s gonna look like a big wooden wedding cake, and all the sand’s gonna be packed inside, and then you start carving from the top down.”

And he’ll be doing that carving in front of some 80,000 people who attend the 2012 Utah Arts Festival.

“You just have to kind of tune that out and focus on the job at hand. It’s not so bad now but when I first got started twenty-some years ago, I wasn’t maybe quite the craftsman I am now, and I was a little more nervous, people watching me because I didn’t know what I was doing at the time.”

Utah Arts Festival Executive Director Lisa Sewell was excited to be able to make room for Siebert’s work at this year’s event:

“I’ve wanted to bring Ted out in the past, but unfortunately the way the site was configured in the past, we only had the pavers to work with on Library Square which couldn’t support 20 tons of sand. When we redid our site design last year, we were able to bring in a couple other projects, like last year, we brought in the mobile-glass blowing studio, and we were able to create a space on 2nd East.”

Siebert’s sculptures have recently been featured at an art festival in Milwaukee… and around the globe. For the past 4 years, he's been attending a festival in Taiwan, working on sculptures weighing up to 4,000 tons.

Now he’ll get to work here in Salt Lake City, where Sewell says preparations have been going well.

The 36th annual festival runs June 21 - 24. Details at www.uaf.org.