By: Jacob Hawthorne
Gallery: Schmidt Fine Art Gallery
Roving Conch by Schmidt from Schmidt Fine Art Gallery captures this tropical shellfish like never before. The conch (pronouncedkonk) is indeginous to the Bahamas, and perhaps better known for the shell it wears on its back rather than the animal itself. The Roving Conch intrigues those that view it in person or as art on canvas, and now is offered by Schmidt Fine Art Gallery as a digital print that can be customized to any size, frame or finish.
Both the conch and the conch shell are important in our society, from the shell being used as a seafaring household decoration or a musical instrument as showcased in literary works such as Lord of the Flies, or the conch itself used for seafood and bait.
Through slight modifications, the conch shells can actually be played as wind instruments. The preparation for turning a conch shell into a blowing shell is to cut a hole into the spire of the shell near the apex. Then, when you blow into the shell through the hole, the shell will produce trumpet-like sounds. If you want to get extra fancy, you can even affix a mouthpiece to the whole; then, you can adjust pitch by moving your hand in and out of the conch’s opening, moving your hand deeper for a lower night, or more shallow for a higher note. Best noted examples of using conch shells to produce music occur in North America and South America. Here, antique conchs can be seen on display as historical artifacts in the museums of Lima, Peru and Mexico City, Mexico. And they are still used today in Peruvian flute bands and other musical ensembles.
There are many species of aquatic conch shells that can be transformed into the musical blowing shells; however, the three conch species that are well-known to produce the best blowing shells are the sacred chank, the Triton's trumpet, and the queen conch.
But what is underneath the conch shell? Well, conchs are sea snails, ranging from big to small. The North American conchs are commonly identified as a queen conch, and they are native to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea. Queen conchs are a large industry in these areas, as they are captured and sold for seafood or as fish bait.
For seafood, conch is eaten all over the globe and prepared in a multitude of delicious dishes. Conch is native to the Bahamas, and here the meat of conchs is usually eaten raw in salads, or otherwise prepared and cooked in burgers, chowders, fritters, and gumbos. Locals in the West Indies like Jamaica, also eat conch in soups, stews, and curries; this is similar to the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Haiti, where conch is also commonly eaten in curries and soups. Puerto Ricans and Panama locals prepare conch as a ceviche or use it to fill empanadas. For Eastern Asian cuisines, cooks will cut the conch into thin slices and steam or stir-fry.
Conchs have also found their way into many celebrated customs and festivals. Italian Americans include conch into the Feast of the Seven Fishes to use conch in salads or used in pasta sauce, and is often included in the Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is a celebration of Christmas Eve with fish, conch and seafood. Another such celebration is the Conch Festival In the Turks and Caicos Islands where local restaurateurs will compete on who can prepare the best and most original conch dishes; international chefs then judge and crown a winner.
As a photographer, Kurt Schmidt of Schmidt Fine Art Gallery combines his lifelong interests in scuba diving and photography to capture the beauty and serenity of sealife, and then bring these moments to art on canvas or in digital print. Through constant trial and error, Schmidt is able to produce insanely surreal snapshots of underwater life. What started as a simple vision at a young age, Schmidt knew what underwater photography could be, so he decided to fashion his own waterproof camera complete with a powerful lighting rig.
Through the support of the artistic and scuba diving communities, Schmidt opened a gallery where other photographers can display their work, from both below the sea and on land. Schmidt realized that with the emergence of online photography and smartphones, it is more and more challenging for emerging artists to be discovered, and it is even more difficult for art collectors and buyers to find fresh talent. Therefore, he is always looking to help artists that either currently work in the field with no platform or need encouragement to get their photographs out into the public-eye.
Whether you are an aspiring photographer or an art collector in search of inspiring works to fill your home, Schmidt Fine Art Gallery is here to service you. We are a gallery for the artist by the artist. Our mission is to serve as the place for artists to simply sell art, without the overburdening of promotion, marketing and running a start-up business. We are committed to producing high-quality, museum grade products and timeless works of art on canvas or digital that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Roving Conch by Schmidt is available in all sizes and formats. You can pick your own frame and finish on this piece in our customization shop.
Schmidt Gallery was founded by Kurt Schmidt with the vision to establish a photo-centric gallery in the heart of Montgomery county, Texas. Although it is all run online at the moment, Schmidt Gallery has dreams of opening up a brick and mortar gallery in The Woodlands just north of Houston. Schmidt Fine Art Gallery was founded in March 2020 as a startup funded by All ARK LLC.