Trashy Treasures is coming up at Dunedin Fine Art Center and, apparently, people wait all year for this. Let’s chat with DFAC Curator Catherine Bergmann and find out more.
Eva Avenue: Everyone involved seems so excited about this upcoming event. What exactly is Trashy Treasures?
Catherine Bergmann: Trashy Treasures is everybody’s favorite event at DFAC! It’s a two-day extravaganza that includes a Friday night silent auction party of pre-loved art and continues on Saturday with a massive Art Garage Sale of art supplies, frames, books, curios and more, more, more art!
EA: Is this your brainchild?
CB: I wish I could take credit because I love Trashy Treasures so much, but no. Beloved DFAC patron, artist, past board member and president, Gail Gamble has been the Queen of Trashy Treasures for many years as our Chief Organizer and Fearless Leader.
The event was begun 18 years ago by DFAC’s former Executive Director, Nancy McIntyre. In the early days, it was called Second Time Around and everybody came to the party in their pajamas. Gradually, it assumed its current identity as Trashy Treasures with attendees encouraged to dress in ‘trashy’ attire, which I assure you, takes all forms.
EA: Please explain the difference between what goes down on February 21 and on February 22.
CB: On Friday night, the Art Center galleries are filled with the very best of donated artworks collected over the past year, plus some jewelry and choice collectibles. Though there will be some pieces available for purchase outright, most are offered by silent auction and the bidding gets fierce.
This year, in addition to the avalanche of unbelievable art, we a have a Las Vegas slot machine, some exceptional vintage needlepoints, a collection of photos from the 1940s and a stack of Life Magazines from when a copy sold for 10 cents. One cover features Queen Elizabeth when she turned 18!
On Saturday, everything is priced to sell from the outset. The galleries are re-stocked with the remaining art and this is the day all the art supplies become available. Everything from paints, brushes, frames, specialty craft materials and fabrics. Books galore, posters — you name it. All things art-related can be found.
Fortunately, we have a fabulous team of volunteers ready to assist the art-loving swarm who show up.
EA: Who comes? People from all over Florida? Or mostly people from the Tampa Bay region?
CB: The tagline for Trashy Treasures is Tampa Bays’ Most Beloved Art Garage Sale and it is so! The event has an incredible following with the Friday night party growing larger each year.
I’ve always likened Saturday’s eager crowd to a morning at Filene’s Basement. Frenzied from the get-go — with crowds lining the parking lot well before doors open.
EA: Any exciting artists participating this year that you’d like to highlight?
CB: We have original works by local legends Caroline Cleere, Roger Bansemer, Bill Renc and some incredible Polly Perkins pieces in her own hand-made, artful frames. A signed poster from Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and another by Cyndi Lauper, vintage beaded Victorian handbags, a maple-leafed bonsai made of fabric, a Dumbo cell animation from Disney and much, much more.
Every year, we create a Tunnel of Love for staging the racier items. Look for a signed photo of Betty Page and a stunning nude photograph by Herb Snitzer and a collection of Erotic Drawings by the Masters.
EA: I read that trashy dress is encouraged. Tell me more about that? What do people wear or make?
CB: Over the years we’ve seen gowns made of hefty trash bags, garbage can lids fashioned as armor — our Youth Director once dressed as a huge pile of slowly-moving trash.
As for me, every year I wear a necklace that spells out ‘TRASH’ in purple rhinestones.
EA: I feel like this is perfect timing to move into spring cleaning. Is that on purpose?
CB: It is well-timed for that reason but in all honesty, I believe Trashy Treasures settled in as an annual February-March happening because we were seeking an open weekend in the community’s busy calendar, which is not easy to find.
EA: Anything else you’d like to add?
CB: Friday night, we will be celebrating some very special honorees — three timeless, priceless DFAC Treasures: Irwin Entel, Lionel Giliotti and Charlie Oestreich who are all turning 90.
We invite everyone to be part of this playful, buoyant weekend that supports DFAC’s creative programs. Find some new art that sparks your joy — and art supplies at a huge savings for your next masterpiece. We’d love to see you!