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San-Cap Rotary hopes to draw crowd to Art Festival

By Staff | Feb 12, 2009

According to legend, an ancient ritual allowing winter to turn to spring on Sanibel requires loyal Sanibellites and Captivans to come to the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva’s Arts & Crafts Fair 26th Annual event on Saturday, Feb. 14th and Sunday, Feb.15th.

OK so maybe it’s not as dramatic as all that. But the Rotary Art Fair is on tap as the main highlight for this weekend.

About 6,000 people are expected to come to the annual event, said Rotary Club president Tony Gropp.

“Our expectations are that everyone will come out and have a great time,” Gropp said.

The Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva has been preparing for Florida’s third ranked arts and crafts show. The juried event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday until 4 p.m. The 2008 show was one of the largest shows in the history of the Sanibel-Captiva’s Arts & Crafts Fair, with more artists and more food. Artists and craftspeople will gather at the Sanibel Community Center to display and sell their works at the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva’s Arts & Crafts Fair 26th Annual event. The show is located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.

There will be over 100 vendors showcasing their fine works of arts.

The artists and craftspeople come from Maine, California, Washington, Canada, Florida and all points in between to participate in the Sanibel Island Arts & Crafts Fair, considered one of the top three in the state. Those participating this year will be selected from hundreds applying to be part of this long running event, presented each year by the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club. Items displayed and offered for sale include paintings, sculpture, photography, pottery, basketry, jewelry, graphics, fabric, glass, toys and much more.

Artist Katie Gardenia from Pine Island said she will be bringing her sculpted figure dolls and felted items this year. Her dolls are in homes around the world. Gardenia has been a vendor in the fair for 10 years.

And this year due to rough economy she has hand made special line of $10 greeting cards so that everyone might be able to afford a little bit of art.

“I just feel so lucky to do my passion,” Gardenia said.

Island icons Ikki and Polly Matsumoto will be attending the art fair. Ikki will be featuring several new prints including one with raccoons and great blue heron, Polly Matsumoto said during a telephone interview.

The Matsumotos are looking forward to seeing familiar faces and having a good sales.

“We had good luck in the past,” Polly said.

Rotarian Robert Monk is chairing the Arts & Crafts Fair committee for the 2009 event.

Proceeds from the Sanibel Island Arts & Crafts Fair are used to meet community needs, to fund local scholarships, and for human service needs worldwide. Since 1983, the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva has distributed over $650,000 to people, organizations and for student scholarships. FISH, PURRE and Friends Who Care are some of the local organizations that benefit from the Rotary Art Fair.

This year the organization is looking to raise $35,000, Gropp said. They raised that same figure last year.

To meet this financial goal Rotary members are ramping up the pressure and effort in putting the event together.

“This is our main and only fundraiser,” Gropp said.