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Final residence for A Peek at the Unique is an artist’s haven

By Staff | Feb 27, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED From Bali, a Kayonan shadow puppet, among many collected items.

The Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva recently introduced the final one-of-a-kind home to be featured on its tour – the 18th annual A Peek at the Unique – and it is that of a well-known island artist.

A veritable gallery of the artist’s work and much more, the residence of Sissi Janku is located in the Sanibel Bayous and is sponsored by South Seas Island Resort, a first-time Peek house sponsor.

Before moving to Sanibel, Janku lived in Honolulu, Hawaii, satisfying a long-held dream, where she studied with renowned artist John Young. Initially she focused on tropical landscapes and nature, and as her reputation grew, she widened her artistic interests to include metalwork, painted furniture and esoteric art. The results of her adventures fill her fabled home, which she shares with her musician husband, Chris van der Baars. He added his trove of musical instruments, many collected during the couple’s travels and stays in locations such as China, Europe, Egypt and Mexico. On an open deck, Janku created an outdoor studio, nestled under native trees, where she loves to paint.

“Peekers” will enjoy a variety of treats, from a working model railway at the entry, to collections of glassware, pottery and wood carvings, and her trademark oils and pastels on every inch of wall space. A Kayonan shadow puppet from Bali catches the eye, as does a silver-framed mirror in the Mexican “repujado” technique and an armoire Janku painted with wild cats, alligators and elephants. From the screened lanai, there’s a glimpse of the bayou, a secluded stretch of water. This is a home that is a true reflection of the creative diverse lives of the inhabitants, and a truly unique offering on the tour.

Set for March 16, the tour raises funds to be awarded, through the Zonta Foundation of Southwest Florida, in grants to local non-profits whose mission mirrors Zonta’s own: empowering women and girls. Every year, four distinct and normally inaccessible island homes are opened to “Peekers,” who ride in air-conditioned luxury buses, with a guide providing special insights into each of the homes.

PHOTO PROVIDED Sissi Janku with “Spirit of Sanibel,” the painting that will grace the cover of the 2019 Peek booklet and of which a giclee will be offered in a sealed-bid auction on Peek day.

Before boarding, guests are treated to “light bites” from Sanibel’s finest restaurants, caterers and supermarkets. Tickets for the tour are $100 per person, plus a small service fee to EventBrite.

To purchase tickets, visit www.EventBrite.com.

Anyone uncomfortable using EventBrite may email PeekTickets@gmail.com.

For more information about the Zonta, visit www.zontasancap.com.

PHOTO PROVIDED Musical instruments from around the world, owned by Chris van der Baar.