Captiva and Sanibel are the latest additions to renowned artist Aurelio Grisanty's art deco Beach Town Posters series and are now available for purchase at South Seas Island resort.
Grisanty says he draws the inspiration for his Beach Town Posters series, depicting landmark U.S. beach towns, from French beach posters of the 1920s and '30s, similar to the ones that had adorned his grandparents' beach home during his childhood.
"Captiva has been always mentioned to me by friends that have been there and fell in love with the island. I wondered how it was and it turned out to be very similar in feeling to the beach of my childhood in the Dominican Republic. We used to have a lighthouse there, on an island, a few miles from shore. I don't know if it is still there but Captiva sure reminded me of it, bringing beautiful memories back," Grisanty said.
Aurelio Grisanty's art deco beach posters feature 57 locations and counting. The latest additions include Captiva and Sanibel.
"The open beaches, in such a natural state, pulls me out of the web of civilization to a world long past. Feelings I had from childhood summers all came back to me," he said.
A painter, graphic designer and U.S. government-decreed Exceptional Individual of International Renown, Grisanty first designed his retro, 1930s and '40s inspired travel posters simply for his own enjoyment, but as the popularity of Beach Town Posters grew, so did customer requests for Grisanty to commemorate their favorite beach towns.
"Four summers ago, Aurelio came into my shop, the Blue Room Gallery in Bethany Beach, Del. Neither of us had met before but we immediately felt a connection. The energy of my shop was just the style Aurelio was looking for to sell his new poster of Bethany Beach he designed. I agreed, that indeed, he had found the right spot. The few poster designs he offered, Rehoboth Beach Kite, Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach, flew out the door all summer long," said Clare Conley of Beach Town Posters.
By the fall, Conley and Grisanty had developed a business relationship in addition to a strong friendship.
Conley says she told Grisanty that he could easily sell his posters up and down the east cost.
"There are so many cool beach towns. He said, 'Yes, I've thought about extending the collection, but know I would need help in marketing them.' I said 'I can be that person.' We shook hands, named our business Beach Town Posters and three years later have 57 designs with fans all over the country," Conley said.
Grisanty's Beach Town Poster series now represents 57 vacation spots.
The Sanibel Island poster features the iconic Sanibel lighthouse and a windsurfer with a colorful sail, while the Captiva poster features a jumping dolphin, palm fronds and a well-known coastal fish house.
"I love the look of Aurelio's posters; the bold colors and Art Deco style and the nostalgia they provoke. They are a way for people to connect to happy times at the beach. They are a collectable series. That is something that you don't see in the art-world often. It's exciting for our customers when Aurelio releases a new designs. The response is amazing," Conley said.
But Conley says that the poster series aren't just fun to collect - they're an essential when it comes to home decor.
"Decorating with Beach Town Posters is fun too. Customers are designing beach-themed rooms, choosing posters of all of their favorite beach towns and hanging them in groupings of three over a couch, or several in a row on a large wall or over a mantel. With the daily stresses of life, the posters remind owners of more relaxing times," Conley said.
And South Seas Island Resort's director of retail David Levine agrees.
"South Seas Island Resort is an iconic travel destination synonymous with the Captiva experience," said Levine.
"It is natural that we would offer art that reflects Captiva's rich history since our resort has been such an intrinsic part of the island's past."
Posters can be purchased at several retail outlets at South Seas, including the Captiva Provision Company in Chadwick's Square and South Seas Island Outfitters in the Yacht Harbour Marina.
To view more of Aurelio Grisanty's Beach Town Poster series, visit www.beachtownposters.com.