One day in May, Jeff Strong ’76, P’11, P’13 found himself at the entrance to Tacoma’s Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, preparing to transform more than 100 tons of sand into a giant marine-life sculpture.

The Baja Beach project had been commissioned for World Ocean Weekend at the aquarium. Working alongside a small team of artists led by international sand sculptor and Tacoma native Sue McGrew, Jeff was in his element. 

For nearly 20 years, Jeff has been sculpting in national and international events and competitions—solo and on teams—and received a Sculptors’ Choice award at the 2013 World Championships of Sand Sculpture in Atlantic City, N.J. It started as a hobby, but quickly morphed into something epic, as Jeff’s creative pursuits often do.