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Alyssa MacKenzie

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My artistic journey is a reflection of the places I've called home, from the shores of the Chesapeake Bay to the Emerald Isle of Alaska. Growing up close to the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland, I developed a deep connection to the sea and its inhabitants, particularly the Blue crab. As a child, I spent countless hours crabbing with my dad, delighting in the thrill of the catch and the savory reward of a well-prepared steamed crab feast.

Inspired by the memories of my childhood and the desire to create meaningful gifts for loved ones, I began crafting ornaments from blue crab shells. Each shell became a canvas. The process was as fulfilling as it was nostalgic, a labor of love that brought joy to both myself as the creator and the recipients of my gifts.

Upon relocating to Alaska, I found myself drawn to continue creating art. Amidst the towering mountains and icy waters, I discovered a new muse in the form of the Dungeness, Tanner, and King crabs that populate the region's shores.

Painting the shells of these crabs became more than just a creative outlet; it became a celebration of the natural world and a homage to the bounty it provides. As I transform these discarded shells, I am reminded of the interconnectedness of all things, where beauty and sustenance coexist in harmony.

What sets my art apart is not just its visual appeal, but the story behind each piece. Each ornament, each painted shell, carries with it a piece of my journey. It is a journey of exploration and connection – to the land, the sea, and the people who share in its bounty.

Creating art from crab shells started as just a hobby and has grown into much more for me. It's a testament to our ability as people to find beauty and purpose in the most unexpected places. And above all, it's a reminder to savor every moment and every experience, for they are as fleeting and precious as the crabs themselves!

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