Visitors view the entries in the Scientific Division (above) and the Artistic Division (below) at the 2014 Sanibel Shell Show at the Community House. The 78th edition of the show is March 5-7. Photos courtesy Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club
Visitors view the entries in the Scientific Division (above) and the Artistic Division (below) at the 2014 Sanibel Shell Show at the Community House. The 78th edition of the show is March 5-7. Photos courtesy Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club

For the past 78 years, seashell enthusiasts have gathered on Sanibel once a year to see who has collected the most interesting shells or has created the most beautiful piece of art with shells. As the years have passed, the Sanibel Shell Show has become more sophisticated, and today it is known as one of the best shows in the United States. Historically, it is the longest running shell show in the country. This year there are 27 categories of competition in the Scientific Division (collections of shells) and 23 categories of competition in the Artistic Division (artistic creations). Shell collectors and both hobbyists and professional artists from around the United States and Canada will participate in the show.


 
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The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club announces the following highly respected individuals have been chosen to judge the 78th Annual Sanibel Shell Show, an integral part of the Sanibel Shell Festival being held March 5, 6 and 7 at the Sanibel Community House.

Harry Lee, MD

Jacksonville, FL began his pursuit of conchology at age six. He is known for his remarkable memory regarding shell identification and data. Dr. Lee is the author of Marine Shells of Northeast Florida (2009) and numerous scientific papers He has judged our show many times and he will be giving shell identification clinics in the Scientific Exhibit Hall throughout the Shell Show.

Robert Jankowsky

Wellington, FL grew up in Brooklyn, NY and began collecting shells at a young age while walking the shoreline near Jamaica Bay. After college and the Navy, he became a scuba instructor in the Caribbean. When on Martinique, he became the first person to collect a live Murex phyllopterus . Upon his return to New York with this shell, Bill Old and Bill Emerson introduced him to the serious world of shells at the American Museum of Natural History. They along with Tucker Abbott became his mentors and ushered him into shell show judging. Robert was one of eight founding members of the Conchologists of America. He and his wife are the largest supplier of shell books in the United States, and are now publishing shell books.

Wendy Marshall

Yarmouthport, MA has been a competitive shell artist for the past 10 years.  Her first shell show entry was shown here at Sanibel in the Hobbyist's Division.  Three years later she entered her first show as a professional at the Philadelphia Shell Show.   She has also shown her work at the St. Petersburg, Astronaut Trail, Cape May and Wilmington Shell Club Shows. Wendy is also an avid collector of limpet and cone shells.  Having lived on Cape Cod her entire life, she has always collected shells and used them in arts and crafts and to decorate her home.  

Phyllis Gray

Orlando, FL has a long-time interest in the ocean and the outdoors. Her first Girl Scout merit badge was the “Sea Life” proficiency badge. She has been a member of the Central Florida Shell Club since about 1970 and has served the club in most offices and committees through the years. She currently is the Club Representative to the Conchologists of America. She has won awards for both her scientific and artistic exhibits, and has judged artistic entries for eight different Florida shell clubs: Sanibel, Astronaut Trail, Broward. Jacksonville, Marco Island, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and the Gulf Coast Shell Club in Panama City Beach.

The Sanibel Shell Show competition is open to everyone. For more information regarding how to enter the show go to the Shell Show website.

 

Shell Show judges, from left, Harry Lee, Bob Jankowsky, Wendy Marshall and Phyllis Gray