John Gowdy & Joo Heng Tan


John Gowdy

John Gowdy The East Coast Cowboy

Professional Sculptor and Performance Painter

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John is an American who has relocated to Castelfranco, Italy near Venice to pursue his interest in art. He sculpts sand, marble, and paints for audiences around the world.

Past Career
He is a retired fire captain having served 27 years in the Fire Department of Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA where he was born.
He also worked for 7 years as a beach lifeguard in Atlantic City.

Majored in both Fine Art and Physics at Stockton State University.

Sand Sculptor
John has been sculpting sand for over 25 years and has a sand sculpture company “Sand Sculptures by John Gowdy & Company LLC”. 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

John has another art interest, a show known as Flying Colors. He has performed this painting show in five countries; Italy, Britain, Singapore, Canada, and the USA. Flying Colors is a show in which John throws paint and sand onto a large spinning canvas to the sound of music.
After about 5 minutes or two songs, he captures the likeness of famous people…
The paintings are then sold for charity.

“I am looking forward to this year’s Crystal Classic since I will be competing with my talented good friend from Singapore, Joo Heng Tan.”

Joo Heng Tan

Jooheng Tan - Singapore

Hailed as Vincent Sand Gogh by the Daily mail UK, Singapore sculptor Jooheng Tan fell in love with the art of sand sculpting in the late 90’s. His debut in 2000 saw him attain First prize in the International Sand Sculpting Competition in the Netherlands. As a result of his fueling passion for sand sculpting, Jooheng’s works have been showcased in over 79 cities across more than 20 countries around the world.

There are no signs of stopping for this sand sculptor extraordinaire as in front of him lies plenty of prizes and sand sculpting championships, including the world.

Off Site Transportation

Avoid the crowds at the beach!  Take Route 11 to Siesta or Ride the Siesta Key Breeze Free Trolley Service on the island.

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Become A Sponsor

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic offers sponsors high visibility, the opportunity to participate in a collaborative community event and a way to visibly support the cultural arts and our beautiful Siesta Beach. With over 50,000 attendees, your brand or logo is exposed to over 25,000 people outside of Sarasota County.*

Please click here to forward any inquiries regarding sponsorship. Thank you!

*Based upon surveys of attendees from 2016 festival.

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