Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 They’re getting ready are you!

March 6 th will be here before you know it “The 77th Sanibel Shell Festival”, and there are a number of great changes this year. A new Show Co-Chair person, Joyce Matthys is working with veteran Anne Joffe, a new Artistic Chairperson Mary Burton, also a new Scientific Chairman Tom Riser. Business card fees have been reduced, the exhibit fees have been eliminated,  application forms with photographs to reduce the possibility of class entry errors………….. and that’s not all!  There will be a new 20 by 30 ft. tent on site with six tables, two dedicated to the public to create Coquina shell flowers and for children to create Mice and Turtles out of shells.

A third table will be devoted to the artists who create Shell Critters throughout the year, so you may learn all the tricks of the trade and on the fourth table, Shell Art Books, some new, some old for your viewing pleasure.

AND BEHIND DOOR NUMBER 5 ? …………. there is a current possibility of two students flying in from Japan to demonstrate their cultural art.
Now you would think that would be enough, however, it’s now on to table number six! So far it has not been named but I think it should be called “Meet the Artist”!  Maybe the whole tent should be called that.  As I understand, table six will be hosted by Shell Artists who have entries in the show,  as well as show volunteers such as members of The Sanibel Shell Crafters  (see: ), who give freely of their time every Monday creating  products for sale at the show. Depending on how many Artists sign up, they will be rotated every two or three hours from 9AM to 5 PM each day of the show. They will be allowed to display one of their completed works of Shell Art and will be working on one of their current projects. The theme of the table is solely to give the public an opportunity to meet these creative artists but at the same time they will be restricted from retail sales of any kind. So far the first artist to sign up is, Karine Almir from Glendale, California.

I first became aware of her creative abilities in the 2009 Sanibel Show and since then it has grown by leaps and bounds, quite incredible in such a very short period of time.  During the 2010 Show she asked if I would show her how to create sea urchin spine lettering.  A month or so later I received an e-mail stating she had accomplished it in her entry for the 2011 Show, “LOVE CAME HERE AND NEVER LEFT”. I was surprised she had not included a photograph in her e-mail and asked her why. I still laugh at the reply to this day. “Oh no, the picture doesn`t do it justice, I will meet you at the show to see what you think of it”.  It was a long wait, but I did finally get to see it and it was well worth the wait. What I learned about Karine in this experience was her complete dedication to the art; every shell precisely placed each and every one using only natural colored shells provided by nature. There are no words to truly describe her works of art.  I would love nothing more than to have the ability she has, to take a hand full of shells and see in them what she does. Simply put, if I were one of those shells in her arrangement I would feel honored to have been chosen to be a part of it. The following picture is her entry for this year's show.

What can I say about this picture? Just what she said to me, “Oh no, the picture doesn`t do it justice, I will meet you at the show to see what you think of it”. I do hope you can make it to this year’s Shell Festival and please take a moment with this new opportunity to, “Meet the Artist”, Karine Almir.
 If you would like to see more of her creations see: Treasures of the Deep or how she first became involved in the art see:
The show will run for three days - Thursday, March 6, 7, and 8. The Festival grounds will be open 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Thursday and Friday, and from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. The Exhibit Hall will be open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM all three days of the show. Hope to see you there. Bill