The 85th Annual Sanibel Shell Show is back in person in 2022 on March 3–5, 2022 at the Sanibel Community House. The world’s longest running shell festival, the show and festival feature artistic shell creations, presentations by shell experts, scientific seashell displays, live aquarium tanks, and items for purchase. The Shell Club of Sanibel sponsors the shell show inside The Community House. The festival includes shell arts & crafts, a kid’s tent, and educational talks. Raffle proceeds, the $5 entry donation, and show sponsors help fund grants for colleges, universities, and organizations that foster environmental projects in support of the ocean and the environment.
The Shell Show features judged entries for professional shell artists and categories for hobbyists. Scientific entries in 30 different categories can contain a single seashell or they can contain multiple shells. Artists can enter seashell flowers, mirrors, sailor’s valentines, shell photography, needlework depicting sea life, and dozens of other categories. In addition to the annual competition, two artists have beautiful non-competitive exhibits, Ginny Dickinson and Todd Alan.
Ginny Dickinson is creating a special exhibit that she has titled “In My Heart of Hearts” for this year’s show. She is covering a giant heart-shaped sculpture with hearts created with seashells she has found on Sanibel Island over the years. “In my heart of hearts, I just LOVE shells,” Ginny says. She created many hearts using seashells during COVID lockdown. “It is such a joy to be using them now, combined with some fabulous Pacific shells that were gifted to me, on such a large piece. My hope is that all who view this latest creation are intrigued by the beauty of the shells, find their favorite shells, and share a smile as they walk away.” A native of Ft. Meyers, Florida, Ginny collects shells, leaves, sticks, seeds, moss, bark, rocks, bugs, bones, fossils, feathers, driftwood—and anything else nature offers to use in her creations.
Visitors to the Shell Show will also get to see a crown fit for a mermaid queen. Master jewelry Todd Alan created a 14-karat green gold and platinum crown, encrusted with diamonds, sapphires, green tourmalines, and seashells. Todd started his jewelry-making business in 1986, creating whimsical pieces such as scepters, wands, and crowns as a vendor at medieval reenactment events. He drew on many of the techniques and designs he developed over the years and combined them into his Mermaid Crown, which debuted at the Shell Festival in 2020. Visit his booth to view this masterpiece, valued at a half-million dollars, and look for his shell-themed wedding band entry in the Artistic competition.
For more information about the Sanibel Shell Show — and its new location in 2023 — visit sanibelshellclub.com.
This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine March/April 2022 issue.
Beachcombing is proud to be an Exhibit Class Sponsor of the 2022 Sanibel. Shell Show.
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