Like many who visit the beautiful beaches of the East End, Pauline Fotopoulos walked the shorelines and collected shells as she went along. Fotopoulos, who started her collection in the 1970s, vacationed on the North Fork for years.
“I was not sure exactly what I was going to do with all these shells I had collected but I had a certainty that I would do wonders with them,” explained Fotopoulos.
Her fascination with the buried treasures continued to grow, as did her collection, and when Fotopoulos purchased a house in Montauk it sparked artistic inspiration. Fotopoulos began to create ShellArt, sculptural shell compositions on canvas that highlights the jewels of the sea.
“The shells are a medium that I love because they are real, genuine, natural and timeless, artifacts from the oceans,” Fotopoulos shared. The variations intrigue the artist, who appreciates each one, whether it’s intact and polished or has character with broken off sections. Many of the one of a kind pieces, Fotopoulos has created approximately 50 so far, are made to look like the shells resemble a floral arrangement, which stems from Fotopoulos’ time spent at father’s florist shop when she was young.
“I have always felt my hands have brains,” she said. “They can see art before I know what I am making.”
On Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20, Fotopoulos will open her Montauk home from 2 to 7:30 p.m. for a special reception featuring the unique one of a piece works. Additionally, ShellArt will be on view during the Montauk Artists’ Association Annual Art Show on the Green taking place from Friday, August 18 through Sunday, August 20.
Pauline Fotopoulos’s home is located at 28 Farrington Place in Montauk. For more information call, 646-662-0619.