Noted Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has won three medals in the North American sand sculpting competition at Virginia Beach as part of the Neptune Festival 2010 celebrating its 37th anniversary.
Pattnaik, one of 11 professional sculptors to take part in the largest competition of its kind in the US, won medals for Neptune's Choice, Sculptor's Choice and fifth place in the solo championship at Virginia Beach, about 200 miles from Washington, on the east coast.
Pattnaik, the first sand artist from India to win this championship in US, created a sand sculpture of Neptune giving the message 'Save The Sea from Oil Spill'. He was presented the medals Saturday in a grand prize distribution ceremony by 'King of Neptune' Bruce L Thompson.
An elated Pattnaik said: "I am very happy to have won three medals for India in a championship in solo category. This is the first time I have won three medals in a single championship".
He has participated in more than 40 sand sculpture championships around the world and won many prizes. He is also running a school to teach sand sculpting in Orissa.
This year the sand sculpting competition on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront was a special feature of the Neptune Festival started by the Virginia Beach Chamber of Commerce to highlight the heritage of the beach.
The 32 blocks of boardwalks catering to the Neptune Festival 2010 also offered number of concerts along with arts and crafts exhibitions and an extravagant fireworks display. Keeping in view the popularity of the Neptune Festival, it is ranked among the top 100 festivals on the East Coast.