An unusual event has been held in the beach town of Jesolo, in the Veneto region of Italy, for several years: world-famous artists and sculptors meet on the sandy shore of Piazza Marconi to give life to the "Sandcastle Festival", which celebrates the art form of sculptured sand and arouses interest and admiration.

Indeed, building a sculpture in sand requires special skill and the ability to adapt to the consistency and malleability of the material, which varies greatly from place to place. This year the Municipality of Jesolo decided to make the event even more evocative, making use of professional lighting projectors that would give the sculptors still more prominence. The first performance with these products was for the "Sand Cribs", in December 2003, when the works of seven sculptors were lit by seven Clay Paky CP Color color changers fitted with a CMY three-color system. Another four CP Colors were used for stage-set lighting of the environment.

The lighting technology design was created by Pietro Tondello of ALTAIR. "The ‘Sandcastle Festival’ is an event that identifies the City of Jesolo, helping to make it known at world level. I thought that the ‘light’ element could both discreetly enhance the works and light up the environments hosting them," says Tondello, explaining how he arrived at his design. "I presented a design to the Municipality, illustrating the light effects that could be obtained with the CP Colors, and I also received enthusiastic congratulations from the Mayor, who was present on opening day".

The works of the sculptors were hosted inside a large stressed structure made of transparent PVC, which was colored with many varied chromatic tones.

"The interesting thing in these applications is that they allow us to experience various aspects linked to the City with more interest and involvement," Tondello continues. "Light applications in an urban context can be varied and creative, in this case the art-light pairing was certainly a winning combination, experienced with interest by all the population".

Luigi Rossi, of Rossi Luigi Service, led the implementation of the lighting for the sculptures and had the difficult task of interpreting the needs of the sculptors and translating them into color. The CP Colors were fitted with micro-lens diffusion filters, which are available from Clay Paky on request. The filters allowed the beam to be extended up to 80º so that every corner of the shed would be uniformly lit. Rossi also used special weight balancing plates meant to ensure the stability of the projector on any mounting truss.

With the winter "Cribs" experience behind them, the designers planned the summer version of the event, lasting from June 20 to July 20 2004. The summer event will be hosted inside a stressed structure of 1500 m2, used each year. The international sculptors are exhibiting the theme of Ancient Egypt this time around.

The sculptors first are involved in creating a monumental sculpture as a demonstration. Then they compete to win prizes. The competition for professionals is flanked by other initiatives: a photographic display of previous editions, a competition for children, and a sculpture course for children given by Artistic Director Richard Varano.