Imag­ine That!

Cape Coral Living - - Cape Departments - BY ANN MARIE O’PHELAN

Two cool art venues, find­ing your muse, Cape's tall dol­phins

Dif­fer­ent from one an­other, Cape Co­ral Art League and the Cape Co­ral Arts Stu­dio of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties to dis­cover or to con­firm the artist lurk­ing in your heart.


Round­ing the bend … and there it is. On Coron­ado Park­way be­tween Cape Co­ral Park­way and Del Prado Boule­vard in the south­west Cape is a lively col­lec­tion of build­ings and out­door sculp­tures that con­sti­tute the Cape Co­ral Arts Stu­dio, a sup­ply shop, gallery and gift store in Ru­bi­cond Park that is ad­min­is­tered by Cape Parks & Recre­ation. Clay artist Sue Housler has been in the Cape Co­ral Arts Stu­dio for more than a decade. “Be­cause there are many types of artists work­ing to­gether, side by side,” says Housler, who is also a mem­ber of the Hirdie Girdie Art Gallery co­op­er­a­tive on Sani­bel, “I’m able to see their work in progress. Se­condly, it’s in­spir­ing to me.” What artists like most about the Cape Co­ral Arts Stu­dio is that the at­mos­phere is wel­com­ing and pro­vides ex­cel­lent work­ing con­di­tions, Housler says. There are chil­dren’s classes at the venue that in­clude car­toon­ing, clay, draw­ing/paint­ing, for in­stance. There are also sum­mer camps and classes just for kids. Child classes, Housler says, “al­low young peo­ple a chance to think in­de­pen­dently.”

Cher Bell, the stu­dio’s long­time direc­tor, says, “Cre­ativ­ity, at its base func­tion, is the process where some­thing valu­able is brought into ex­is­tence.” For more than 40 years, the Cape Co­ral Arts Stu­dio has been nes­tled in the same cor­ner pocket, “pro­vid­ing peo­ple, of all ages, a space and the tools to ex­per­i­ment and ex­plore that [cre­ative] process,” Bell says. CAPE CO­RAL ART LEAGUE

You may have seen tall and col­or­ful dol­phin sculp­tures in cer­tain spots around Cape Co­ral. There are some half dozen―Vin­cent, Scrubby and Splash, for in­stance― po­si­tioned at Cape busi­nesses. “Danc­ing With Dol­phins” was cre­ated in 2016, a pub­lic arts project spon­sored by the Cape Co­ral Art League. Pro­ceeds from the spon­sored sculp­tures ben­e­fit art in the Cape. It is the first such project for the Cape Co­ral Art League. In ad­di­tion to mak­ing a splash with pub­lic art, the non­profit of­fers year-round classes for adults and kids, hosts art shows in the league’s gallery―a va­ri­ety of other shows―holds an an­nual art fair and of­fers work­shops with artists from around the world. Plus, Cape Co­ral Art League awards schol­ar­ships. A final art show of the sea­son was in May. “Fish and Ships” fo­cused on boats, all things wa­ter and beaches. Ex­hibit walls showed many in­ter­pre­ta­tions and medi­ums, was “ex­tremely well re­ceived,” says Pat Gil­bert, a Cape Co­ral Art League board mem­ber. League pres­i­dent Bar­bara Mag­ner says there are op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­joy and to make art at the venue on Cul­tural Park Boule­vard. “We of­fer a va­ri­ety of classes for adults and chil­dren, as well as high school stu­dents,” ex­plains Mag­ner. Those classes, she says, range from acrylic to bam­boo

“We of­fer a va­ri­ety of classes for adults and chil­dren, as well as high school stu­dents.”

—Bar­bara Mag­ner, Cape Co­ral Art League pres­i­dent pen and ink draw­ing, art jour­nal­ing, wa­ter­color, dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy to sculp­ture and more. There are also sum­mer art camps for chil­dren. And Wed­nes­day af­ter­noons there is an open paint­ing ses­sion―artists are in­vited to work on their mas­ter­pieces. “Bring your own art project and sup­plies,” says Mag­ner. “It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to meet other fel­low artists.”

Free­lance writer Ann Marie O’Phelan is a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Me­dia.

Cape Co­ral Arts Stu­dio is an out­let for such crafts as raku (be­low), an an­cient pot­tery tech­nique.

The "Fish and Ships" ex­hibit (be­low) was about wa­ter, beaches and boats. Cape Co­ral Art League, formed in 1965, is near City Hall at 516 Cul­tural Park Blvd.

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