Cape artist brings countries together using art for peace
A lifetime of work is coming to a close for Tiite Baquero.
His vision, the Worldwide Peace Marker Project, is nearly complete, and with its conclusion comes a rare vantage for the Cape Coral artist — one he hopes will live far beyond his own life, beyond the city, maybe even beyond the final vestiges of mankind.
“I have generated an art form which will live without me,” he said. “It’s a work of art like no other.”
Though the World Peace Marker Project was launched in 2002, Baquero has been working on the ideology behind the project for four decades.
After 15 years of intense study, he slowly developed his approach to a new art form, one that is now placed strategically throughout the globe.
Baquero and 198 other artists have been part of the mammoth undertaking, as the peace markers are now at locations in four continents including Germany, Japan, Turkey, Morocco and Italy, to name a few.
Each marker has an ambassador, one who is charged with developing an approach and program by which to install a new peace marker in his or her country, in turn spreading the message of world peace.
Emmy-award-winning flautist and North Fort Myers resident Kat Epple acts as America’s ambassador. She has known Baquero for the better part of 30 years and watched as the project grew.
“I’ve known Tiite for many years and I’ve been an advocate for the worldwide peace marker project,” she said. “I stay in touch with the other ambassadors around the world and help promote the idea of worldwide peace.”
The newest marker is on its way to Serbia, following a ceremonial farewell Thursday at City Hall.
Mayor Jim Burch joined Baquero and his children, Rick and Kalon, Epple and Serbian ambassador Bianca Vukovic for the ceremony.
Vukovic will escort the peace marker on a trip to Serbia, where it will settle in as the one of the final pieces of Baquero’s unique vision.
“The vision never changed … the requirements were so tough,” Baquero said. “I wanted to redefine art the way Leonardo DaVinci did in his time.”
Burch said Cape Coral should be proud to be part of Baquero’s artistic legacy, and that he is lucky to be associated with it himself.
“That the project began in Cape Coral is really remarkable, especially when people realize it all started here,” Burch said. “He’s (Baquero) been doing it with little fanfare all these years …. it’s really incredible. What a concept.”
Though the physical work of the World Peace Marker Project may be coming to a close for Baquero and the ambassadors, the need to promote worldwide peace will never end.
As a crossroad for peace, art and unique cultural ideologies, Baquero hopes the World Peace Marker Project will continue to generate realities from the dreams he began some four decades ago.
“It’s our job to dream hard,” Baquero said. “And I dreamed hard.”