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Wearable Art 8 arrives Saturday at Dunedin Fine Art Center


If you see a piece of trash and pick it up, knowing it will be perfect for your next outfit, you must be a Garden Fairy.

That's the running joke for this perky group of windsurfers, gardeners, artists, community do-gooders and, now, designers.

Their line of "Hula Royalty," a tribute to things recycled and reused, will be showcased during Wearable Art 8, the Dunedin Fine Art Center's annual fashion show where local artists and designers push creativity to its outer limits.

Saturday's party starts at 7 p.m. The runway show begins at 8:30 p.m. and is followed by an after-party. General admission tickets are $20, with reserved seats going for $35 or $75.

Score your tickets early as they are as hot as August nights in Florida.

Never ones to toss out the garbage, the Garden Fairies have taken plastic holiday ornaments, six-pack holders, inner tubes, straws and thermal pool covers and repurposed them into a plethora of Polynesian looks.

"We become infatuated with various art forms and then go for the gusto until we've exhausted ourselves — and the art form," said Siobhan Nehin, queen of the Garden Fairies.

This year's show also features Natasha Richards, a former Miss Gay USA, as emcee. The band Woolly Bushmen plays for the after-party.

The show has a new director, too. Meg Huntley hails from Los Angeles.

"We're hoping she's going to bring a lot of L.A. bling to the show," said Ken Hannon, the Dunedin Fine Art Center's associate executive director. "It's going to be different."

LaPosh Salon of Clearwater will do hair and makeup for all 45 models.

"It will be more avant-garde than ever," said hairstylist Gregory Brady. "In addition to traditional makeup, we'll be doing some airbrush and body painting. Lashes will be adorned with feathers and sparkles. We'll be building some pretty wild hairdos, too."

Designers include:

• Rogerio Martins, inspired this year by the birds of the Amazon rain forest. He plans to bring attention to the destruction of their habitat through his line of clothing called "Predatory Man Devouring the Jungle."

• Rocky and Kathleen Bridges, notable bay area artists, combining fairy-tale fantasy with industrial objects found along the road.

• Mark Byrne, stretching the balloon to the max with eye-popping balloon dresses.

• Designers Scott Durfee and George Medeiros, fusing sustainable, organic fabrics with edgy industrial objects.

• Michael Della Penna, focusing on 3-D abstraction while pairing aluminum screen and wire with tulle.

• Johnny Hunt, highlighting the emotional repercussions of the housing crisis with outfits constructed of secondhand roofing material and futuristic fabrics.

• The Garden Fairies, who turn plastic and aluminum into garbage to die for.

Have a Diversions feature event? Contact Terri Bryce Reeves at


Art 8

Where: Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd.

When: Saturday; party starts at 7 p.m.; runway show begins at 8:30 p.m. and is followed by more partying.

Tickets: General admission tickets are $20; reserved seating is $35 or $75. Online ticket sales end at 4 p.m. today. Box office open Saturday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 more after 7 p.m.

Info: (727) 298-3322 or

Wearable Art 8 arrives Saturday at Dunedin Fine Art Center 08/09/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2012 4:55pm]
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