By Lynn Sarda
Award-winning photographer Ron Mayhew teamed with Museum of the Islands historian, Tim Knox, in the February exhibit on "The Fish Shacks of Pine Island Sound." Mayhew has been involved with a long-term project documenting and photographing fish shacks that are still remaining in the waters off our island.
Tim Knox, left, and Ron Mayhew arrange photographs for the Fish Shacks of Pine Island Sound display at MOTI. One of the fish shack photos is featured below.
The 14-image folio titled "The Fish Shacks of Pine Island Sound" featured 11 by 14 black and white and color photographs printed on fine art archival photo rag paper with archival pigmented inks.
Among Mayhew's awards are those from the Center for Fine Arts Photography in Ft. Collins, CO, the Darkroom Gallery Vermont, and the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda. Several fish shack photographs will be featured in an article about the shacks in the March issue of the Gulf and Main magazine. Mayhew is currently working on a collection of his photographs to be published soon.
The interesting history of the fish huts, or fish shacks, can be found at the museum. Knox has gathered information about the ice huts and fish cabins used in the early 1900s. To see the remaining shacks in today's waters, you can travel by boat between Pineland and Captiva Pass where they reside on an oyster bar. There are six remaining shacks, some of which are listed in the National Historic Registry. To read more about the history of the fish shacks, go to http://pineisland.info. This website is packed with local history topics including the nautical history of the area.
Mayhew recalls his interest being peaked when he saw the shacks while he was out fishing.
"The photographer in me came to life," he said. "I returned with my camera." Mayhew's website, www.RonMayhewPhotography.com, includes beautiful images of Pine Island Sound waters and its treasures.
When Knox and Mayhew first met, they exchanged business cards, each noting the other had used a photograph of fish huts on their card. Knox checked out Mayhew's website and decided to contact him to help develop a display for the museum. Knox had written about the shacks in his "This Month in History" column for the Pine Island Eagle and he had found readers to be very interested in the topic. A museum exhibit was a natural follow-through.
Museum hours are Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; and Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The museum is located right across from the Pine Island library, on Sesame Street in the Center.