The artwork continues to astound visitors to the Sanibel Shell Festival. (Bottom) A constant stream of visitors checks out the magic of shells Friday in the Scientific Room. SC photos
The artwork continues to astound visitors to the Sanibel Shell Festival. (Bottom) A constant stream of visitors checks out the magic of shells Friday in the Scientific Room. SC photos

Whether it is a creation that is on display as a prize-winning exhibit or one that is for sale, the magic of artwork with shells has come alive again at the Sanibel Shell Festival.

Inside the Community House at the Sanibel Shell Show, the Artistic Division room is end-to-end with jaw-dropping creations, from small, whimsical creations to the mastery of a sailor's valentine. For those who want to take home something unique and special, the tents on the grounds of the Community House have a mind-boggling selection.

Today has been just like yesterday. People are amazed at what they see. The artwork continues to get more creative and better,” Mary Burton, Shell Show chair, said Friday afternoon from within the Artistic room.

Burton tends to gravitate to the sailor's valentines, some for which she has a special love.

Everyone must see them. Some are simple in their creation and others are very complex, and they are all beautiful,” she said.

Outside it is much the same with creations ranging from simple four-shell turtles and miniature floral arrangements to magnificent works of art with a larger price tag. SCA Shell Co-chair Tyler Schoenherr said the smaller items sell quickly because they're easy to transport. They are also reasonably priced, but some festival goers take home larger, more intricate pieces.

The shell tent has been quite busy, too,” said Schoenherr.

Burton said both the Artistic and Scientific room at the Shell Show have been bustling places.

We've had good crowds, and we think a lot of people have figured out the traffic. It's busy in here now. It's a bit easier to get here in the afternoon,” she said.

Unlike the Shell Show, the tents outside have to consider the weather. A brief sprinkle hit Friday morning, but it quickly passed. It's all clear for Saturday with a high of 77.

We look for Saturday to bring much the same, but a bit more with those who had to work the last few days,” Schoenherr said.

After two successful days, the Shell Festival winds up its 79th edition on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tomorrow is the last day. That's the only bad part. I just hate to see it end,” Burton said.

Editor David Staver contributed to this story