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Out with the old…in with the old

By Staff | Oct 29, 2014

Trash to treasures at BIG ARTS exhibit. CRAIG GARRETT

A piece of old, dried out drywall with kid drawings on it.

An old VHS tape, more than partially unraveled.

Some old vinyl records.

These are items which would normally be found in the trash barrel, not on the walls of an art gallery. But those old nails and used bike tires are the featured pieces at the BIG ARTS DiscARTed show inside the Phillips Gallery on Sanibel Island, running through Nov. 28.

“It is literally turning trash into treasure,” said BIG ARTS marketing and communications director Marta VanderStarre. “The pieces need to be at least 75 percent recycled material and not a reproduction from another show.”

Art is 75 percent recycled materials. CRAIG GARRETT

The art show highlights the importance of recycling and how used up materials can be turned into something much more beautiful. But there weren’t any other limitations the artists had on them, besides following the guideline of making their piece from at least 75 percent of recycle material.

“This show has everything, from nature pieces to history,” VanderStarre said. “It has all sorts of different themes.”

There was one juror who judged the 40-plus pieces and that was Anica Sturdivant, who is the gallery coordinator from Florida Gulf Coast University. She decided on the three best pieces, along with honorable mentioned and merit awards.

The call for the exhibit went out in mid-July and the artists range from all over the Southwest Florida region.

The pieces also range on different levels of complexity, from a simple colorful collage made out of magazine clippings entitled “You are what you eat” by artist Anita Force Marshall, to an intricate weaving of a used VHS tape, aptly named “Please be kind, rewind.”

At the Phillips Gallery through Nov. 28. CRAIG GARRETT

There were many different items used, such as the many different pieces from an old house (an old-time black and white photo, a scrap of jeans hanging on a portion of barbed-wire fence and many others all enclosed in an aging window frame) called “Old Homestead” by artist Dale Weber.

One of the most eye-catching pieces is of an out-stretched owl, with realistic deep-hue colors and made out of old bike tires by artist Andrew Corke. Each piece is for sale, with a portion of the earnings going to BIG ARTS, so to help sustain the ability to continue showing these exhibits to the public free of charge. Although the main theme of the exhibit is to promote good environmental practices, such as recycling, it also provides another aspect, as well.

“Our primary purpose is be able to show this kind of art to our community,” VanderStarre said. “We don’t turn anyone down who wants to submit their piece.”

There are many ways to make nice, quality art, and the DiscARTed Recycled Theme Show now showing at the Phillips Gallery proves even the trash bin can be a source of inspiration.