SEBRING - Repurposing seemed to be a theme Saturday at the Lake Placid Art League. Loretta DeWitt makes mermaid fins and fairy wings out of former Barbie dolls, glitter and silk leaves, while Bruce Trewyn makes owls and pigs and fish from brass vases and silver plates and copper tubing. "I buy sheets of copper, and I go to yard sales and thrift stores. This used to be a three-compartment relish tray," Trewyn pointed to a hanging on a wall with an $80 price tag. "Now it's an owl." Another owl standing on a shelf over Trewyn's Copper Creations sign has copper plate wings, napkin-ring-and-grape eye sockets, and taxidermy eyes. "About 70 percent of the time, when I see it, I know what it's going to be," Trewyn said. The other 30 percent? Well, that's the point of necessity and imagination.
Trewyn was one of about four dozen showing arts or crafts at the 27th annual show, said Joan Swanson, president. "This is our 27th show." Why do the Lake Placid arts come to south Sebring? "This is the best venue we could find for indoors and outdoors," she said. About a dozen artists lined the sidewalk next to the Bert J. Harris Agricultural Center. On the George Avenue side were original Highwaymen displaying their Florida scenes, and a next-generation artist, Kelvin Hair, from Fort Pierce. He is the son of Mattie Thornton and Alfred Hair, who introduced Kelvin to art as a toddler. The father died before Kelvin was old enough to become proficient, but he met A.E. Backus at age of 17. "Bean" Backus, famous for his vivid Florida landscapes, mentored Highwaymen founder Alfred Hair. Kelvin was selected by Gov. Rick Scott as the 2012 Black History Month artist. DeWitt made a mermaid bust from shells she collected from yard sales. She gestured to her table. "Everything's recycled. And people know I collect shells, so they bring them to me." She also paints original miniatures on tiles from Lowe's. Next month, DeWitt moves to Linda's Bookstore, in downtown Sebring, where she'll teach artists once a month. firstname.lastname@example.org 863-386-5828