Now in its 39th year, the annual Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva Arts and Crafts Festival will bring together more than 80 leading artists and artisans on the islands to display and sell their one-of-a-kind pieces.
Held on the grounds of the Sanibel Community House, the two-day event will take place February 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and February 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will feature artisans from across the country competing for awards in a range of media and styles, as well as a silent auction and more.
Festival chairman Scot Congress explained that it was a juried show.
“We have been very picky about the artists we bring”, he said, noting that the club did not hold the event last year due to COVID and has reduced attendance slightly this year to keep everyone safe.
The dozens of participating artisans include artists, artisans, exhibitors, and cultural jewelers, who will showcase 2D and 3D works like jewelry, photography, wood carvings, pottery, sculptures, and more.
“There are beautiful hand-painted 3D works of art. Local and exotic photography. There are a lot of handmade jewelry. Congress said, citing gold and sterling silver. “We’re going to have what we call sculptures.”
“A little bit of everything,” he added.
Artisans come from across the country and outside the United States.
“We have artists from as far away as Canada, Mexico and Guatemala. We have a lot of them from Florida, Georgia and the Midwest,” says Congress. “They come from all over the country.”
As for the cost of parts, there is something for everyone.
“Each category will have a lower, middle and upper price range. We did this to be able to attract a wider audience,” he says, estimating the average cost to be between $50 and $100. “There are prizes starting at $2 and then it goes into the thousands.”
For the juried show component, participating artisans will compete for first place, second place and third place in three categories – 2-D, 3-D and Creative Crafts – as well as two honorable mentions.
“Our judges are from Florida Gulf Coast University Art League,” says Congress.
A Best in Show, known as the Ikki Matsumoto award, will also be awarded.
“Ikki’s daughter, Amy (Matsumoto Urich), is actually the one presenting the Best in Show award”, he said. “We always involve the family because they have been so helpful over the years.”
While the artisan stalls are outside, attendees are encouraged to enter the community house and check out the items up for grabs in the silent auction – another big part of the annual festival.
“There are over 225 individual articles. Each item has an estimated value and a starting bid,” says Congress. “Plus, there’s a buy it now piece so people don’t have to wait two days for the auction to end. If they want to buy it locally, they can.
As for the variety of items to bid on, there will be wonderful wall art donations, vacation and rental stays and things to do like ski and boat trips, and themed gift baskets. items collected from local traders.
Also inside The Community House, attendees will find an information booth about the island club and a group called Miracles in Action, part of the sponsored fundraising arm of Rotary.
“They will be selling handmade beaded jewelry to help this specific fundraiser, which is schools in Guatemala,” he said, noting that the funds also benefit quality of life projects like clean water.
“It’s for a good cause, and it’s the last year that we welcome them”, Congress added.
Proceeds from the festival will go directly to the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Trust Fund. Funds are then awarded to local, regional, and international organizations and nonprofits through grants.
Locally, the club funds several college scholarships and helps support organizations such as FISH of Sanibel-Captiva, BIG ARTS, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, The Community House and Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, as well as Habitat for Humanity and Harry Chapinfood. Bank.
“It’s our main fundraiser. We have a 100% turnout of club members who volunteer their time and talent to focus on one weekend a year to raise enough money for us to run our club, from a donation perspective” , he said. “One hundred percent of the money goes back to these efforts.”
To raise additional funds, the club creates a commemorative T-shirt to sell each year. Digitally preserved and then enhanced with the addition of text and the like, the artwork is still by Matsumoto.
The piece selected this year is “Apple-of-milk” which represents a watermelon eaten by otters.
Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.
“We have two participating food trucks, Firebread and Munchies Barbecue. Firebread are homemade breads and sandwiches,” Congress said, adding that Boy Scouts on the island would be selling bottled water.
Admission is a requested $5 donation at the door and covers both days.
There will be limited free parking at the Community House, but additional lots will be available; signs and volunteers will direct motorists. Island Taxi donates its shuttle service from Auxiliary Lots.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to exit.
“Not only is it a fun time, it’s a cultural event and you’re helping people at the same time,” he said. “And it’s made by locals who just want to give back to the community.”
For more information, visit https://www.sanibelartfair.com/ or https://sanibelrotary.org/.
The community house is at 2173 Periwinkle Way.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
39th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival
Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva
February 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and February 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel
$5 donation requested; covers both days