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Judges for Annual Shell Show announced

By Staff | Feb 10, 2020


The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club recently announced who will judge the artistic and scientific entries at the Annual Shell Show, which will take place on March 5-7 at The Community House on Sanibel.

The artistic judges will be Phyllis Gray, of Orlando, and Sharlene Totten, of Clearwater. The scientific judges will be M.G. “Jerry” Harasewych, of Washington, D.C., and Harry G. Lee, of Jacksonville.

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. Gray currently is the club’s representative to the Conchologists of America and co-chair of the COA Convention set for June. She is a recent member and current vice-president of the Astronaut Trail Shell Club. Gray has won awards for her scientific and artistic exhibits, and has judged artistic entries for eight different Florida clubs.

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 jewelry and in stained glass pieces has won her many awards. Totten’s original pieces are sold at many of the shell shows in Florida. She has been an artistic judge at many shell shows during the last 13 years.

Harasewych has retired, but remains Emeritus Curator for 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. Harasewych has authored or co-authored several books, including “Shells, Jewels of the Sea” and “The Book of Shells.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Sharlene Totten

Harry G. Lee began his pursuit of conchology at age 6. He is known for his remarkable memory regarding shell identification and data. Lee is the author of “Marine Shells of Northeast Florida” (2009) and numerous scientific papers. He has judged the Sanibel show many times, as well as other shell show throughout Florida. Lee will hold shell identification clinics during the show in the Scientific Exhibit Hall.

PHOTO PROVIDED M.G. “Jerry” Harasewych