Renowned sand and stone artist returns to Carefree

The Town of Carefree welcomes world renowned artist and sculptor Ray Villafane back to create sand art like no other within the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, Carefree Desert Gardens starting March 4.

The Town of Carefree welcomes world renowned artist and sculptor Ray Villafane back to create sand art, beginning March 4.

Admission is free and open to the public every day of the week. The exhibit will be on display through August.

The first life-size signature sculpture created by Ray Villafane and Sue Beatrice in the Carefree Desert Gardens was completed in May of 2016 titled, “Elephant playing chess with a field mouse,” consisting of 24 tons of sand sourced from the Salt River in Arizona.

The exhibit garnered world attention by the media who had never seen sand sculpting taken to that level. This year Nikolay Torkhov, professional sculptor from Moscow, Russia, will join Villafane in creating 24 tons of grandeur over the 2-week period. Mr. Torkhov was also commissioned by Mr. Villafane to carve pumpkins at the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden in Carefree October 2016.

Mr. Villafane has also invited professional stone balancer Tim Anderson, a Pennsylvania native, to join him in Carefree the weekend of March 17-19 to transform the Gardens into an artistic stone stacking playground. Visitors can watch demonstrations, participate and ask questions as the two artists defy the laws of physics without the use of any adhesives other than gravity and stones provided by Mother Nature to create unusual artistic formations in the Desert Gardens pools and around the scenic landscape.

The Thunderbird Artists will also be present in the downtown area for its Carefree Fine Art and Wine event that weekend. There is a $3 admission fee that weekend.

“I love Carefree and glad to be back again for a second year within the beautiful Desert Gardens, it’s a playground and inspiration and appreciate the town allowing me to be a part of it,” said Mr. Villafane.

For more information visit or call 480-488-3686.

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