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Compass T he A r t s MR. SANDMAN An artist whose love of that most childlike of crafting materials has sustained itself through adulthood, sandcarver Matt Long’s fantastical creations awaken the wonder and admiration of effort that all great pieces should inspire. TEXT BY RYAN JARRELL Artist, advertising aid and everything in-between, give most of our Magic City populace the base tools of sand and water, and what would be produced could only be described as muck. Give the same elements to world-renowned Matt “Sandman” Long, however, and what results is stunning in every sense of the word. Winner of multiple world championships in sand sculpting and an indispensable aspect of the advertising campaigns of such global brands as American Express, McDonald’s, Disney and many, many more, where exactly did this South Florida-based phenomenon first get the inspiration to shape minerals into miracles of structural engineering and artistry? “I started carving sand on the beach with my kids when they were young,” says Long, whose resume includes two seasons on Travel Channel’s Sand Masters. “They grew out of it but I guess I never did!”; SandSculptor.com. 38