By Ashley Inge
STEPHENVILLE (July 3, 208) – The Stephenville Tourism and Visitors Bureau has commissioned Texan sand sculptor, Joaquin Cortez, to create a “Welcome to Stephenville” sand sculpture sign at the intersection of Graham Street and US 377.
Cortez has been sand sculpting ever since he went to South Padre with his family in 2014 and got a sandcastle lesson. He has been training, practicing and competing ever since.
He sculpts with all different kinds of materials and said his favorite thing about sculpting is the 3-dimensional aspect of it. Cortez said he likes that he can see the sculpture from all sides and that the sculpture changes in lighting.
“There’s a presence to a sculpture, especially if you build large-scale sculptures like I’ve been working on. When you see a big sculpture, it takes some people’s breath away or makes you feel inspired or excited,” Cortez said.
It usually takes Cortez about three to four days to finish a sand sculpture. He usually works with 12 yards of sand but for this project, he’s working with 24 yards, which weighs around 60,000 pounds.
Cortez’s artist missions are to create meaningful art projects, design sculptures for worthy causes, raise awareness for charity and help inspire others with art.
“Anything you can imagine, you can sculpt,” Cortez added.
Stephenville Tourism and Visitors Bureau manager, Julie Smith, says the bureau is very excited about the project.
“Joaquin is such a talented local sand artist, with so many great sculptures across the state,” Smith said. “The wonderful City team members have been making sure he has what he needs. We can’t wait to see the finished product. We hope our guests at the City Park and travelers passing by this corner will all enjoy seeing this project.”