John Gowdy And Laura Cimador Gowdy


John Gowdy

Castelfranco, Italy

John relocated from New Jersey to Castelfranco, Italy to pursue his interest in art. He has been carving sand for over 30 years professionally and works with his lovely wife Laura.

He manages and organizes both amateur and professional sand events around the world. He has earned many international titles in sand sculpture including:

  • 2-time World Champion by people’s choice in British Columbia, Canada
  • 5-time American Champion in Fort Myers, Florida, USA
  • 4-time North American Champion in Virginia Beach, USA
  • International Champion in Quebec, Canada and Jesolo, Italy

Flying Colors is a fun, crazy performance in which John paints large portraits of famous people on a spinning canvas to music. Each painting being realized in the time it takes two songs to play or about seven minutes! The resulting paintings are usually auctioned off to support a local non profit organization. Many videos of the show can be seen on Youtube by searching John Gowdy Flying Colors.

John’s interest in sand sculpture has evolved into a more permanent medium: marble. He has many marble sculptures on public display in New Jersey high schools such as: Princeton, Atlantic City, Absegami, Oakcrest, and Woodbury. Other public displays are; The Police And Fire Fighter's Memorial County Park in Atlantic City, NJ and The Galloway, NJ Public Library. Many of his marble sculptures have been sold to private collectors.

He is a retired fire captain having served 27 years in the Fire Department of Atlantic City. He also worked for 7 years as a beach lifeguard in Atlantic City. John majored in both Fine Art and Physics at Stockton State University.



Laura Cimador Gowdy

Castelfranco Veneto, Italy

Laura’s interest in the arts led her to the beaches of Jesolo, Italy in 2005 where she met her husband John Gowdy who was working there at a sand sculpting event. After communicating for many years, they married on the beach of Fort Myers, Florida in 2011.

She fell in love with sand sculpture and now Laura and John have teamed up in the competitive world of sand sculpture. They have won many awards as a two-person team in world class sand events in Cervia, Italy and Texas Sandfest 2019. In 2011 they won the nationally televised "Sand Wars" professional sand sculpting competition in Siesta Key, Florida.

On April 18, 2018 Laura and John had the honor of being invited to the Vatican, Rome to personally meet Pope Francis and donate to him a sand sculpture which was carved inside Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Every summer, as she has done the past fifteen years, she works with John at events up and down the eastern coast of the United States from Hampton Beach to Marco Island, Florida and many locations in between.
Laura has earned her Master’s Degree in Modern Languages and speaks two languages fluidly, Italian and English.


The free Siesta Key Breeze Trolley runs daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm to and from Siesta Key Village and Turtle Beach. A mobile app is available to track the trolley in real time.

New transportation on and off Siesta Key is now available via Sarasota County’s OnDemand Service.

Customers can request a ride via a mobile app, which is available in app stores for iPhone and Android devices, online at, or by calling 941-300-1553. OnDemand uses accessible minivans and operates similarly to today’s popular ridesharing services like Uber and Lift. The OnDemand vehicle will pick up customers and take them to their destinations within the same zone.

Become A Sponsor


Click here to purchase your sponsorship.

Stay In Touch

Copyright © 2021 Siesta Key Crystal Classic. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.   

Web Design and Hosting by Concept Digital Media