ArtCenter Manatee exhibit opening

The ArtCenter Manatee’s new show proves that one person’s trash can be another’s treasure. The “Altered Functions” and “Re-Art” exhibits use repurposed items for artistic creations.

Guests at Friday’s opening reception could play an informal game of “I Spy” as they figured out the raw materials used for the pieces. Curators Dee Hood and Sheryl Holder gathered some very creative types who used castoffs such as furniture parts, old toys and clothes and recycled CDs as their artistic media.

Artist Kevin Dean took the concept literally and set up a performance piece in the juried “Re-Art” show and his artistically displayed items were for sale individually. Think classy garage sale.

Executive director Diane Shelly enlisted Jesse White and Sarasota Architectural Salvage as the show partner. The Sarasota store is the local pioneer of the “reuse, recycle and repurpose” movement and White has a table in the show, using a door saved from the old John Ringling Towers as the top.

Several local art teachers attended the show opening, including Bayshore High teachers Kathy Cocciolone and Susan Swanson. Their students have several works in the show, including a stunning industrial “quilt” made as a class project.

Bonni Brown took a break from her Village of the Arts restaurant, Bonni Bakes. She borrowed the ceiling light fixture-turned-fruit bowl from her home for the show. And Wolfe Zucker switched from serious stone sculpture to combining toys into political statements.

Both “Altered Functions” and “Re-Art” will be on display through June 26. Stop by for a little inspiration on how to use that pile of trash... er, treasure.

Susan Wilcox, a Florida native, has lived in Bradenton for more than 20 years. She has been active in many local organizations.