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Art Focus set for Saturday

By Staff | Feb 28, 2019

Cape Coral’s first piece of public art is set to be rededicated this weekend at a festival celebrating the arts.

The 34th annual Art Focus Festival put on by the Cape Coral Arts Studio and Cape Coral Parks and Recreation takes place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rubicond Park where art-lovers can enjoy class demonstrations, an outdoor fine sets sale showcasing the work of local talents, tours of the studio and great discounts on art supplies.

Tiite Baquero’s Tuned-Leaf Tailed Rubicond sculpture will be celebrated at noon and placed back in Rubicond Park where it originally stood in 1981.

“We are excited to welcome this iconic piece of public art back to Rubicond Park during the Annual Art Focus Festival,” said Julie Gerhard, supervisor at the Cape Coral Arts Studio, in a statement. “Mr. Baquero and his team have done an amazing job restoring the structure and we’re thrilled to include him and the community in the rededication ceremony. This is the perfect opportunity for the public to check out Cape Coral’s community art center!”

The 26-foot sculpture was the very first piece of public art in the Cape and has become somewhat of a landmark on Coronado Parkway over the years.

The piece was severely damaged during Hurricane Irma, though Baquero has been working tirelessly to oversee the repair and restoration over the past month, said a release on the event.

“We were lucky enough that Mr. Baquero was able to help with repairs,” said Gerhard. “The sculpture reemphasizes our growing community that we are growing together, and art is a big part of that.

“Its a prolific, impressive sculpture. It’s bright red now. It’s good to have the landmark back or Coronado.”

Also part of the festival is the annual juried Student Exhibition, with a free reception from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cape Coral Arts Studio students will have their works of art on display including glass, jewelry, clay, paintings and more.

Best In Show, along with second and third place prizes will be up for grabs, as well as a “peoples choice” award where attendees will be able to vote on their favorite piece.

“These works showcase a variety of talent that encompasses Cape Coral and Fort Myers residents,” said Gerhard. “It’s very inspiring to see. Some students come in as beginners while other artists here have been perfecting their craft their entire life. There is a wide range of skill, talent and technique.”

The awards ceremony will take place in the middle of the reception, just before the rededication ceremony.

The day is a great opportunity to see what the studio offers for the community, meet instructors, meet local artists, tour the studio, said Gerhard.

“See everything we have to offer for Cape Coral residents. It should be a beautiful day,” she said.

The Cape Coral Arts Studio is at 4533 Coronado Parkway and is overseen by the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation division.

For more information, call the studio at 239-574-0802 or visit www.CapeParks.com.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj