Artist uses privacy fence to showcase talent after COVID-19 canceled art shows

As the pandemic shut down different community events, one woman's creative outlet turned out to be as close as her privacy fence.

Local artist Shelly Augsbury loves the beach and the shoreline in Pinellas County. Her art has always reflected that, but the shutdowns following COVID-19 closed down art shows and weekend events to showcase her talents.

Turns out her next canvass was just a few feet away from her front door, and it is 80-feet long.

"With COVID and everything going on, the art industry kind of flattened out," shared Augsbury, "So, I thought this would be a great idea. I have this long fence."

She began to create beach scenes on the fence. 

"I'm a beach girl," she admitted. "The different things I painted are the things I love. I knew I was going to start with octopuses. I knew I wanted to put a seagull and different birds."

That labor of love took a little time, but the community around her began to notice.

Augsbury recalled, "It took about four or five weeks. People started walking by and saying, 'Wow there's something different.'" 

And just because the paint is done, that doesn't mean the mural is finished. 

"I even put shells on the bottom," she said. “Every time she visits the beach she brings several shells back to place around the bottom of the fence.

Her fence is at her home on 14th Street North in the Magnolia Heights neighborhood of St. Petersburg.

"If a piece of art doesn't make you smile, you're looking at the wrong one," Augsbury explained matter-of-factly.


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