Wanted: Your Best Galveston Beach Finds

Bill Davenport wants to know, what's the best thing you've ever found on the beach?

The Houston artist is teaming up with the Galveston Artist Residency to put on a show featuring items discovered on Galveston's beaches, and they need you to contribute your best finds. That means shells, of course, as well as seaweed, driftwood, fishing tackle and other objects not so easily identifiable.

"I've been collecting amazing things off beaches for years, but it occurred to me that so has everyone else," said Davenport, who counts among his best finds a $10 bill he spotted floating in the surf near the 39th Street jetty several years back. "A truly astonishing show of beach finds was already done -- all that remained was to gather it in one place."

Want in? Submissions are due by April 7. The show, titled "All Time Finds: The Best of the Beaches," will take place on April 19 at the Galveston Artist Residency. Davenport estimates that the space could hold upwards of 6,000 pieces, and so far has been amazed by the response.

"Every time I mention the project to someone -- literally anyone -- their eyes light up, and a story is forthcoming," said Davenport, who is no stranger to scavenging and collecting. He runs Bill's Junk, a storefront at 1125 E. 11th Street in the Heights that is chock full of anything from giant balls of yarn to thrift-store art finds to his own art objects.

Since putting out the call for loans last week, Davenport has already received a couple dump-truck loads worth of driftwood from the Galveston Parks Board, whose crew consists of "enthusiastic collectors." To participate, you can drop off or send your find and its story to the Galveston Artist Residency, 2521 Ships Mechanic Row, between Tuesday and Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. by April 7. For more information or help transporting your find, contact Bill Davenport at borabora@wt.net, or the Galveston Artist Residency at 409-974-4446 or info@galvestonartistresidency.org.

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