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Her Name is Catalina

Sharon Williams


Behind the Shot

Exploring Catalina Island is one of artist Sharon Williams’ favorite activities, yet she’s certainly not the first to discover the area’s charms. Native tribes inhabited the small island off the coast of Southern California more than 9,000 years ago. Europeans claimed it for Spain in 1542 and named it for Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Ownership eventually transferred to Mexico and then the United States.

In the 1920s chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. saw the potential of Santa Catalina Island and began polishing it like a crown jewel. Catalina’s golden age commenced, with celebrities flocking to the island and filmmakers using it as a backdrop for hundreds of movies. Wrigley invested millions of dollars in the island and publicized it intensely. His family later donated 42,000 acres of land to the Catalina Island Conservancy for preservation. 

On a recent weekend getaway to Catalina, Sharon captured the homes and hotels crawling up the hills overlooking Avalon. “Having a camera helps me get out of my head and be present while also being able to create something and share it as a form of expression,” she says.

No wonder Wrigley described Catalina as “an island utopia in a modern, busy, everyday world. A heaven on earth—without a fence around it.” Enjoy a piece of utopia in your home or office with this intriguing print.