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Cape’s Festival of the Arts opens today

By Staff | Jan 9, 2010

Some concerns remain about the weather this weekend, yet Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director John Jacobsen said the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts is set to begin Saturday.
The festival has been a major event in the city for the last 25 years. Jacobsen said 305 juried artists are ready to showcase their work this weekend on Cape Coral Parkway, but the weather may keep some residents away.
“The last report I heard was blustery showers on Saturday,” he said. “I’m sitting here doing a lot of praying.”
A cold front has hit Southwest Florida all week and new weather reports show a chance of rain on Saturday. Jacobsen expects approximately 100,000 visitors this weekend, but if the weather is poor the turn-out could be half of that.
But still, he said there is still a lot of excitement in the community.
“I have talked to people and they said they can’t wait,” he said. “It has been around 25 years and it has become part of their lives. As far as quality and diversity of art it will be one of our best ever.”
Festival organizers choose one artist each year to create the event’s official poster.
Local commercial artist Echo Chernik was chosen for 2010 and created “Eve,” an art nouveau illustration. Chernik, an advertising designer and illustrator for 16 years, moved from New York to Cape Coral five years ago.
“This is the first year we are doing the art show,” said Chernik, who mainly produces work for major clients such as Celestial Seasonings green tea, Publix limited edition “Hula Hula Macadamia” ice cream, and Camel cigarettes.
A majority of Chernik’s work has appeared in advertisements, but the sluggish economy has given her more time to produce fine art and begin touring the art show circuit. Her pieces are inspired by art nouveau, a popular style between 1890 and 1920, featuring a touch of classic pin-ups with a modern edge.
“It was an art movement in the turn of the last century,” she said. “It is decorative and organic, and reminiscent of a vintage poster.
Chernik is also selling six fine art pieces and limited edition Giclees — some of which already appear in the Olde Florida Gallerie in Fort Myers. Fans can learn more about her at www.echo-x.com or visit her online store at www.echochernik.com.
The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts has a full roster of artists, but a small group has been wait-listed with the hopes of making it in at the last minute. Ten artists are on the list, waiting to hear if one of the juried artists cancels.
“We juried this festival and then there is always a handful who didn’t quite make the cut,” he said. “We put them on a waiting list. You almost have to overbook because there are going to be some sick ones or those whose cars break down.”
Jacobsen said volunteers began setting up for the festival on Friday and Cape Coral Parkway will be closed. It officially opens at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts Web site is www.capecoralfestival.com
The city of Cape Coral urges festival goers to park in one of the free city-owned lots.
Parking in marked tow-away zones outside businesses can result in just that — a towed vehicle, with recovery fees ranging upwards of $200.