“Castoffs to Couture” to open May 7 in Shell Point’s Tribby Arts Center

Light-hearted exhibition with a serious message presents fashions made from trash



FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 20, 2022) – Fashions made from materials normally considered to be trash will go on display Saturday, May 7 when Tribby Arts Center opens “Castoffs to Couture: Selections from Project Refuge of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society.”

The exhibition, presented by Tribby Arts Center in partnership with the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, will be on display through June 25 in the Shell Point Gallery of the Tribby Arts Center of Shell Point Retirement Community.

The exhibition will present 14 jaw-dropping fashions, each one fabricated with a minimum of 75% reclaimed and/or recycled, non-perishable materials, such as discarded plastic items of all kinds, used bags, soda-pop tabs, packing foam, paint chips, old towels, and the like.  

The fashions in the exhibition were first presented or made an encore appearance at a fashion show and luncheon this March at the J. N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, the second such event hosted by the organization. “Castoffs to Couture” now provides an opportunity for all those in the Fort Myers and Sanibel to marvel at these innovative creations.

According to Shell Point Resident Curator Marge Lee, “Castoffs to Couture” is a “must see” exhibition that will surprise and amaze, but also educate.

“This exhibition is quirky and fun,” said Lee, “but the underlying message it conveys—that it is critical to reuse and recycle to save the environment—is serious.”

 “We are delighted to partner with Tribby Arts Center in presenting this exhibition to share this amazingly creative wearable art and its important underlying message,” said Birgit “Birgie” Miller, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society executive director.

Highlights of the creative works to be on display include “Spoonful of Lovin’,” a dress made of hundreds of plastic spoons collected from the trash of a local frozen yogurt restaurant, and Shady Lady, made entirely from discarded cellular blinds, both made by Sara Basehart, Taos, New Mexico. There is also “Rosie,” a dress that resembles a Roseate Spoonbill, made from packing materials by Kym Mason of Sanibel, and “It’s In the Bag,” a showstopper fashion created by Constance Walker of Naples with plastic shopping bags from Target.

In the Tribby’s second-floor Legacy Gallery, “REIMAGINED by Shell Point Artists” will display items of apparel or accessories that Shell Point residents—many being retired or still-working professional artists—have transformed with discarded or found items.

Tribby Arts Center, located in the Coastal Links neighborhood of the Shell Point Retirement Community, is now open to the public. Visitors may explore the changing exhibitions in its three art galleries and view dramatic twin kinetic sculptures by artist Andrew Carson, Washington, in the Atrium. The Sculpture Garden is also open for visitors to explore, and there, visitors will find three life-size bronze figurative works and unique metal benches by Florida artists Steve Dickey and Doug Hays respectively, along with a kinetic sculpture by the well-known New Orleans artist, the late Lin Emery. A booklet providing information on the sculptures is available free of charge at the Tribby Box Office.

Visitors to the Tribby Arts Center can relax in the Tribby Café, reflect in the outdoor sculpture garden, and find something special in Serendipity, the Tribby gift shop.

Shell Point Gallery, Tribby Café and Serendipity are open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Legacy and Overlook Galleries are open during regular Tribby Arts Center hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Tribby Arts Center is located at 17281 On Par Boulevard in Fort Myers. For more information about events and performances, visit TribbyArtsCenter.com or call 239-415-5667.

About Shell Point

Shell Point Retirement Community is located along the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, Florida, just two miles before Sanibel Island.Shell Point’s unparalleled lifestyle offers a championship 18-hole golf course with an elegantly appointed clubhouse, free boat docks with deep-water access to the Gulf of Mexico, coastal-inspired restaurants and charming outdoor cafes, luxurious salon and spas, fitness centers, tennis and pickleball, and miles of scenic walking and bike trails.

 A nationally recognized leader in the retirement industry, Shell Point is the largest single-site continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Florida and the second largest in the country with 2,500 residents and more than 1,200 employees. For further information, visit www.shellpoint.org or call 1-800-780-1131.

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Shell Point Retirement Community: Kara Hado

239-454-8245; cell 239-310-1115; karahado@shellpoint.org

Resident Curator: Marge Lee


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