Wednesday, October 27, 2021

31st Annual Shell Club Show



By Jeane Brennan

The 31st Annual Marco Island Shell Club Show will be highlighting not only shell art, shell collecting and shell craft, but also the conservation and science of seashells and mollusks. The show will be held at the United Church of Marco Island on North Barfield March 10, 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donation at the door is $2.00.

The two divisions of the show are artistic which includes shell flower arranging, sailors, valentines, critters, caricatures, sea life, needlepoint and multi-media and scientific which is composed of single shell exhibits to complete shell collections. President Jae Kellogg said, “Categories range from local shell collecting to shells gathered from all over the world. Fossil shells/sea life also have categories all their own. It is also a priority and necessary,” Kellogg continued, “that in the gathering of shells, there are no live animals.”

Judging for this year’s artistic division are Sharlene Totten from St. Petersburg and Sandy Moran, a sailor’s valentine maker from Sanibel. Judges for the scientific division are Dr. Jose Leal, curator for the Bailey-Mathews Shell Museum in Sanibel, and Dr. Gary Schmelz, director of education in the Conservancy of Naples. Participants in the show range from novice to winners of national awards. Seven trophies and plaques will be given in the scientific division and five will be awarded in the artistic division.

Depending upon the display, whether it is single shell or a group, a collector can take ten years or more for an exhibit to come together. Kellogg said, “that a collector might have a great day at the beach and find the whole presentation in that one day.”

The show will have shells and shell art for sale. One of the highlights in this year’s scientific division is Brent Kelsey’s exhibit, which is a take off on 101 Dalmatians. The name of his exhibit will be 101 Junonias, spotted shells prized in southwest Florida.

Besides the annual shell show, the Marco Island Shell Club is comprised of workshops and seminars, also funding a scholarship program. For information about the shell club and current newsletter, go to

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