2017-04-05 / Solos

John Gowdy

Castelfranco, Italy

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.

John is a retired firefighter, having worked 27 years in The fire department of Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he was born. He earned the rank of captain and was in charge of the special operations team. He also worked for seven years as a beach lifeguard in Atlantic City.

He has been sculpting sand for over 25 years and has a sand sculpture company, “Sand Sculptures by John Gowdy & Company, LLC”. He has helped manage the World Championship of Sand Sculpture and is managing The Annual Sand Sculpting World Cup Competition in Atlantic City.

“I must say that, regretfully, other work has taken me away from this sand event in Port A in the past few years. I am very happy to return to this unique Texas town known for its great sand and great friends! It’s good to be back!

John has earned many international titles in sand sculpture including: two-time World Champion by people’s choice in British Columbia, Canada; five-time American Champion in Fort Myers, Florida; five-time North American Champion in Virginia Beach; International Champion in Quebec, Canada; two-time International Champion in Jesolo, Italy; and Grand Master Championship 1st place finish with teammate Michael Velling.

He has done work for the White House Commission of Remembrance in Normandy, France, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart Show, The Travel Channel (winning Sand Wars with his teammate and wife Laura), and many others.

John also carves marble and has created many marble sculptures for high schools throughout New Jersey. He teaches “The Creative Process” in high schools in which he shows how to take an idea and turn it into a finished marble sculpture. He has a few marble pieces on public display in the Galloway Library in New Jersey and in Memorial Park in Atlantic City honoring 60 police and firefighters who died in the line of duty.

John also performs a show known as Flying Colors. He has performed this painting show in five countries: Italy, Britain, Singapore, Canada and the U.S. In the show, John throws paint onto a large spinning canvas to the sound of music.The paintings are then auctioned for charity.

John likes to mix up his medium, starting out as a painter and then evolving into a sculptor and now performance painting.

“I believe you cannot stand still in the arts. You must keep evolving as an artist while experimenting with new ideas and techniques. One medium or technique compliments another. Always press forward with your eyes wide open and find your own way. This is the life of a true artist,” John said.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2017-04-05 digital edition