Flora and Fauna exhibition showcases art inspired by nature

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The Shell Point Gallery of Tribby Arts Center will be transformed into a naturalistic setting when “Flora & Fauna: Artworks Inspired by Nature” opens on Oct. 3.
The exhibition, which will be on display through Dec. 23, presents paintings by Renée Chastant and Betsy Conrad, ceramics by Augusta Crane and Martha Grattan, and bronzes and glassworks by Annie Wainwright. Most of the exhibition’s 67 works will be on view for the first time in this display.
Four of the participating artists (Chastant, Conrad, Crane and Wainwright) are Fort Myers residents, while Grattan works as a professional artist in upstate South Carolina.
Tribby Arts Center curator Marge Lee said the artworks will be presented in a series of spaces evoking natural regions, including a garden, the shore, the wilds and a Florida pond environment.
The paintings by Renée Chastant and Betsy Conrad complement each other. Chastant will display engaging images of animals—a subject for which she is particularly known—while Conrad’s canvases are dominated by floral motifs that transport the viewer to a garden setting.
The bodies of work by the exhibition’s ceramicists similarly complement each other in supporting the exhibition theme.
Augusta Crane is displaying works depicting floral themes, including spectacular water lilies. Martha Grattan—who sees her works as ambassadors of the natural world—is showing a group of ceramic Florida animals, including a bobcat, fish, heron, several frog varieties, a pair of snails, and a trio of woodpeckers.

Annie Wainwright

Annie Wainwright’s body of work includes whimsical glass birds, bees, and dragonflies that will suspend in the air, bronzes supporting both the floral and fauna motifs, and glass art influenced by the sea and sky.
To heighten the exhibition experience, says Lee, the objects will be presented in a dense installation enhanced by faux foliage, vide, and special lighting effects.

Pat Meredith

In Tribby Art Center’s second floor galleries and opening concurrently with “Flora & Fauna” on Oct. 3 is “Pat Meredith: Art of the Quilt.”
A Legacy Gallery exhibition honoring contribution to the arts community of Shell Point, Art of the Quilt presents the works of Shell Point resident Pat Meredith. Meredith served for eight years as president of the Shell Point Quilters and played a leading role in the development of the Tribby’s Quilting Studio.
The body of work on display in Art of the Quilt, says Lee, demonstrates Pat Meredith’s remarkable needlework talent and keen eye for design.
Eight large quilts and seven smaller textiles made by Meredith will be on view, along with her knitted nativity scene for which this artisan even spun and dyed some of the yarn.
The exhibition also includes several interesting textile-related artifacts from the extensive collection that Meredith and her late husband, Phil, collected over the years.
Among the latter are two spinning wheels, and a video in the exhibition will show Pat Meredith operating the smaller of the two.
A Featherweight sewing machine, silk reel, Lazy Kate, umbrella swift, and several vintage miniature sewing machines will also be on view, accompanied by interpretive signage. Both exhibits are open free of charge to all. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Inclusive in the Shell Point Gallery and open the same hours, Serendipity: The Shop in Tribby Arts Center offers a variety of original art and art-inspired jewelry and gift items for purchase.
Tribby Arts Center, on the campus of the Shell Point Retirement Community, is located at 17281 On Par Blvd., Fort Myers. For more information about gallery exhibitions and events, call 239-415-5667 or visit


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