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SF Gets Carved by the School of Fine Art Sculpture

Over the span of five days, professional sand sculptors from around the world came to create astounding and intricate works of art from 400 tons of sand at the first ever Carve San Francisco event. Among the teams participating were the School of Fine Art Sculpture MFA candidates Jihoon Choi and Seok-don Choi, the only two person team, who took fourth place in this monumental event. The School of Fine Art Sculpture Chair Lawrence Noble was one of seven judges for the event.


Carve San Francisco showcased the extreme art of sand sculpting, along with surf artistry and board shaping, music and gourmet food.

Although the Academy team was very excited about the competition, they were a little nervous working with this medium. “Sand sculpting requires skills in construction, fine art, and an understanding of how sand reacts with different mixtures of water,” explains Jihoon. “It sounds complicated, but sand is really an amazing material. I could make big, fast, detailed work. I really enjoyed the competition and met a lot of great people. It was a priceless experience.” 

“One of the highlights for me was getting to know Seok-don and Jihoon,” said Kathryn Keown, Founder and Executive Director of Carve San Francisco. “They worked so hard and they beat four stars of the Sand Masters TV show!”

“Jihoon and Seok-don are two of our best students, and we are so proud of how they represented California, South Korea, and our Fine Art Sculpture department at Carve SF,” said Noble. “Their talent, skill and grace impressed everyone at the event.”


Noble was also given an opportunity to combine the reckless 20-something surfer of his youth with the deliberate and delicate sculptor he has become today. The result: a sculpted Egyptian-style relief, with surfing goddesses, of course.


While Noble’s surfing days are far behind him, he found the experience of sculpting the piece highly rewarding. “The joy of sculpting can always be tempered by the joy of discovery, even if it is a rediscovery of a past experience,” says Noble. “The iconic nature of the ancients has appealed to me for a long time, and this event afforded the opportunity to combine passions in some new visual territory.”


While the relief image of surf goddesses is clearly a vision of fantasy, the hieroglyphics, when translated, are not.


“Carve your destiny,” it reads, according to Noble. “And I mean it!”


“Lawrence Noble is not only one of the most versatile artists of our time, but he is also a surfer and someone who celebrates the beauty and majesty of the ocean,” said Keown. “We were privileged to have Lawrence offer his artistry and guidance at the Carve events.”


The Carve San Francisco event brought awareness to and raised funds for two Bay Area nonprofits, the San Francisco chapter of Surfrider Foundation and Sustainable Surf.


Thanks to Pete Vilmur, the Director of Public Relations for the Academy of Art University School of Fine Art — Sculpture. See his coverage of people, works and events at SculptureSchoolDaily.com.



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