Sanibel Shell Festival Judges Announced

provided to Santiva Chronicle

The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club has announced who will judge the artistic and scientific entries at the Sanibel Shell Show which begins on March 5. The artistic division judges are Phyllis Gray of Orlando, Florida and Sharlene Totten of Clearwater, Florida. The scientific division judges are M.G. “Jerry” Harasewych of Washington, D.C. and Harry G. Lee of Jacksonville, Florida.

Phyllis Gray has a long-time interest in the ocean and the outdoors. Her first Girl Scout 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’s representative to the Conchologists of America and the Co-Chair of the COA Convention to be held in Melbourne, FL in June. She is a recent member and current vice-president of the Astronaut Trail Shell Club. Gray has won awards for both her scientific and artistic exhibits, and has judged artistic entries for eight different Florida shell clubs.

Sharlene Totten is originally from Michigan, but she has resided in Florida for the past 32 years. She has taught a variety of arts and crafts classes in the adult education programs of the Pinellas County School System. Her use of shells, pearls, precious stones, sterling silver and gold metals in designing original jewelry and in stained glass pieces has won her many awards. Her original pieces are sold at many of the shell shows here in Florida. Totten has been an artistic judge at many Florida shell shows during the last 13 years.

M.G. Harasewych has retired, but remains Emeritus Curator in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian Institution. He continues to publish research papers on slit shells, neogastropods and land snails of the genus Cerion. He has authored or co-authored several popular books, including Shells, Jewels of the Sea and The Book of Shells. An abridged version, The Little Book of Shells, will be published in May.

Harry G. Lee, MD 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 the Sanibel Shell Show many times, as well as other shell show throughout Florida. Dr. Lee will be holding shell identification clinics through the Shell Show in the Scientific Exhibit Hall.

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