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‘Paint the Cape’ draws 20 artists

By Staff | Dec 30, 2010

The second annual Paint the Cape En Plein Air has attracted 20 local and national artists to participate in the Jan. 5 and 6 event.
Event Coordinator Shirley Hales said she borrowed some of the ideas from the huge event that took place in the northern portion of Virginia and Maryland to begin the annual event in Cape Coral.
“It sounded like such a nice thing to do,” she said, adding that she thought it would be fun for the artists as well. “Painting outside is totally different from painting in your art studio.”
Hales said last year those who participated in the first Paint the Cape were “unbelievable troopers” because they stood out in the cold to create their plein air painting.
“I could not believe how they hung in there,” she said.
Last year’s Paint the Cape first place winner Tara Funk Grim, who paints with acrylics, said she heard about the event on the internet after visiting the area for the first time from Delaware.
“I am looking forward to painting more tropical vegetation on site,” she said about this year’s event, which is a real treat for her coming from the north. “This year I want to paint in town.”
Christopher Tuscan, who works in oils and is from Chicago, decided to participate in Paint the Cape last year because he grew up in the area and was in town due to his yearly visit with his family for the holidays.
Tuscan said he enjoyed the challenge of depicting the buildings at Tarpon Point Marina, along with the camaraderie of the other artists.
It took him about seven hours to complete his painting over two days due to the light and the cold, windy weather.
When asked why he wanted to participate in the event again this year he replied because “I’m home again and I am up for the challenge.”
Tuscan said he enjoys Paint the Cape because it gives him the opportunity to paint at new locations while working alongside other artists.
“It is always nice to be in a friendly competition with the other artists,” he said.
Hales explained that at the end of last year’s event they asked participants to provide their feedback, including what they liked and did not like about the event.
Based on the responses a few things changed for this year’s event, which includes three new categories for the awards along with a shortened amount of time for the plein air painting from three to two days.
Artists will receive $750 for winning first, $500 for second and $250 for third place.
The Best of Cape, People’s Choice and Artist’s Choice also will be awarded.
The winners will be announced on Jan. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. during a reception, which will have food donated by Rumrunners Restaurant and musical entertainment by Mariner High School students.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling the Cape Coral Community Foundation at (239) 542-5594 or the Harbour View Gallery at (239) 540-5789.
Although the rain came the night of the reception last year, people still came out with their umbrellas in hand and purchased a few paintings.
“Even with all the cards stacked against us, we had a wonderful turnout of 150 people at the reception that night,” Hales said.
They raised more than $3,000 for the Cape Coral Community Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that provides assistance and services to the community.
The event will benefit the Cape Coral Community Foundation again this year.
An exhibition and sale will be held at Cape Harbour Pavilion from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The event is free.
Artists will paint their plein air piece in various locations in downtown Cape Coral, Rotary Park, Eco Park, Yacht Club Community Park and Beach, the Marina at Cape Harbour and the Resort at Marina Village on Jan. 5 and 6. The artists will choose their locations Wednesday morning before they begin painting their surroundings.
Hales encourages the public to stop by some of the sites and talk to the plein air artists and watch as they create their artwork.
“The general public can watch how a painting is made and produced,” she said. “I think we are going to have a super time this year.”
Cape Coral resident Victoria Stillwell, a first time participant of Paint the Cape said she signed up for the plein air event because she wanted to get back into her artwork.
“I have been away from it for a long time,” she said about her pastel painting. “I am just so excited to be doing what I really want to do.”
Stillwell enjoys creating paintings with pastels because “you can get your finger in there and blend it and smooth it if you need to.”
After reading about the event, she submitted her artwork a couple of days later because she wants to reopen the door to her painting and get back into it again.
“I am so nervous and excited about it,” Stillwell said about the event.
She is also looking forward to Paint the Cape because she will have the opportunity to be “with the other artists” and see their work.
A Quick Draw will also be available for all artists on Jan. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Cape Harbour Marina.
For more information visit www.paintthecape.com.