I’ve learned something today. From the outside world, there’s nothing interesting going on at sandcastle competitions until after they’re finished.

That was a piece at 5:15, 45 minutes before time was up for the 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. competition. Creative Time, the nonprofit NYC organization committed to public art projects, hosted the inaugural Artist Sandcastle Competition at Rockaway Beach. Yes, the competitor slots are filled with capital-A Artists like performance artist Kenya Robinson, sculptor-painter Ricci Albenda, and sculptor-photographer Mary Mattingly, but the nonprofit’s President and Artistic Director Anne Pasternak told the NY Times that the sandcastle competition won’t be taken too seriously: “While Creative Time is known for presenting serious, ambitious public art projects, we also love getting down and hanging out with artists while working on our tans.” Well…yes and no.

The winners: Jen Catrone and Paul Outlaw! (As seen above! But here’s the full image of their castle.)

(Photo: Creative Time, Art Observed)