Organizers of the 57th edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show launched several contests designed to engage fans and invite new visions of what the show means to South Florida.
Guests arriving at the show will be welcomed through a new main entrance and will enjoy an ocean-inspired cover on the official show program, both designed by local artists. On Facebook, two lucky fans won free airfare and a hotel stay on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
A marine-themed entry arc at the show's main entrance at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel will welcome attendees to this year's show. Designed and produced by Lighthouse Point, Fla. resident Emily Pinnell, the 23-foot-wide, 9-foot-tall archway is constructed of steel, aluminum and composite material.
Pinnell began the design process by projecting the image she created in large scale onto a wall and then tracing it onto cardboard to create a template. Aluminum pipe was then bent to form the intricate shapes that she welded together.
The fabrication process involves TIG and MIG welding, grinding, and plasma cutting the metal inserts. From design to fabrication and installation, it took her about three months to complete.
Pinnell recently graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor's degree in fine arts and sculpture and now plans to pursue a master's degree. Before being selected to design and build the new archway for the Fort Lauderdale show, she was selected to build her first large-scale outdoor sculpture, "Still Swimming," which is on display at the new public Seaside Sculpture Park in Jacksonville Beach.
"The boat show archway was inspired by the South Florida sportfishing lifestyle," Pinnell said in a statement. "All of my work is influenced by a lifetime of growing up along the coast."
South Florida fine artist, yacht chef and island explorer Danielle Perry was selected to design the cover of the 2016 official FLIBS show program. Perry's luxury yachting experience, combined with her talent to capture detailed views of colorful, healthy, bountiful reefs and secluded tropical islands, adds an artful element to this helpful show resource.
In keeping with one of the themes for this year's show, Perry's design highlights reef conservation and the need to eliminate the non-native invasive lionfish, which has no natural predators and is wreaking havoc on tropical reefs, feeding voraciously on small fish, baby lobsters and other vital creatures.
In partnership with the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, owners of FLIBS, Perry has chosen to donate the $2,500 prize money she was awarded for her design to the Coral Restoration Foundation in Key Largo, Fla.
In partnership with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitor's Bureau and BoatShowHotels.com, the show's official travel partner, the show's first-ever travel contest, "Bring a Friend to FLIBS," awarded one randomly selected lucky winner and a friend a trip to this year's boat show.
The winner will receive domestic airfare for two to the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, a two-night hotel stay at the B Ocean Resort Fort Lauderdale and tickets to the show.
Contestants submitted their entry through the show’s official Facebook page.
"Finding new ways to engage people who love boating has been a win-win for everyone involved," said Brett Keating, vice president of consumer marketing for Show Management, the Fort Lauderdale show’s producer.
"We found talented partners with fresh, creative visions for the show's main entrance and for the official show program, and we created lots of buzz and engagement on social media over the travel contest."