Findlay artist builds annual Easter sand sculpture - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Findlay artist's annual Easter sand sculpture

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FINDLAY, Ohio -

Every Easter, one local artist brings people together through his unique creation. It's an annual sand sculpture depicting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and other religious scenes.

It's artwork many consider powerful, moving and spiritual. It's also temporary, made entirely of sand.

Each year, Roger Powell gives life to a pile of sand, shaping it into various iconic moments from the life of Jesus Christ.

Powell always includes the crucifixion, in honor of Easter, but this year is only the second time he has portrayed the Last Supper.

Powell sculpted it once before, 8 years ago, all free hand and without a blueprint.

"It was an inspiration that I had to do this," Powell says. "And every year, it comes the same way. People say, 'Well, where's the picture of this? Do you have a pen?' and I say, 'It's just what I see.'"

Powell estimates 15,000 people will see his work at the Hancock County Fairgrounds between now and April 22.

You can drive by or walk up. The sculpture will remain open to the public, under a pavilion, day and night, in what has become a Findlay tradition.

When Powell started his annual Easter sculpture 13 years ago, he did so with 50 tons of sand. He's now up to 300 tons, and he carves it all in a week.

Powell is a landscape architect by trade and used to take part in sand and snow sculpting competitions as a hobby.

"But now, this is for my hometown, the communities around us, people from all over the country," he says. "We have a lot of people from out of state that come in every year. I feel like this is real important to do, for us and for the Lord. So, that's why I do it."

Powell says he pulls off the massive sand sculpture in Ohio every Easter with the help of volunteers, donations and support from the community.

A sunrise service will be held in front of Powell's sculpture Sunday morning.

The sculpture will be in place for the next two weeks at the Hancock County Fairgrounds.

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