More than Art 3

Cape Coral Art League Celebrates 50 Years in the Cape

Have you ever seen the Dancing Dolphins around town? These are large dolphin statues that are colorfully painted and located in areas such as Lobster Lady Seafood Market & Bistro, Cape Coral Hospital, Wicked Dolphin Distillery, Kindness Animal Hospital, Razzle Dazzle, John Michael Jewelers, The Cape Coral Community Foundation and the Community Redevelopment Agency. This is just one of the many exciting projects coming out of the Cape Coral Art League. Chartered in 1965 as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), the CCAL has continued to grow through membership, grants and donations.

Located on Cultural Parkway near the Historical Museum and Cultural Park Theater, the league offers a way for residents and visitors to express themselves through art. There is something for everyone, including classes, workshops, art exhibits, children’s classes and a newly renovated gift shop

President Barbara Magner was visiting her sister in Cape Coral five years ago and came in for one of the popular Wednesday Open Painting afternoons. The more, the merrier is the theme here, bringing together local people who love to paint.

“There are usually 20-30 people in the room, and the atmosphere is so friendly and upbeat,” she says.

Barbara says the experience was part of what made her want to move to Cape Coral. Years later, she has served as secretary and is now president. Wednesday Open Painting from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. is hosted by Pat Gilbert, who Barbara calls the “hostess with the mostest!” It doesn’t matter your level of experience; all are welcome to come and do their own thing within an encouraging group experience.

What really makes Barbara light up is when she talks about the children’s programs.

“The classes started with four or five kids and next thing we knew, we were up to as many as 24 students per session,” she says.

She loves sharing art with children and feels it’s so important for kids to be able to express what they are feeling through art. She talks about times when they even walked next door to the soccer fields to pass out flyers and promote programs. Currently, Barbara teaches Student Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s open to the community and is offered for a donation of just $10 which includes materials. This program is for younger children through middle school age.

Hal Klingler, who has a master of fine arts, teaches older children through adults in the adjacent studio. He has mastered all forms of art and mediums and is a very generous teacher working with the same parameters of $10 per class, materials included. All the money collected from Student Sundays goes to the league to replenish supplies and promote programs.

Of all the beautiful projects coming out of the CCAL, the real masterpiece seems to be the sense of community, friendship and the way they are bringing joy to residents’ lives through art. For a membership or more information, visit or call 239.772.5657.