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Hands On Art Gallery & Studio now open in South Cape

August 3, 2018
By MEGHAN McCOY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

A former Ida Baker High School art teacher decided to dive into her own business a few months ago when Hands On Art Gallery and Studio opened its doors in July.

"I opened softly because I wanted to be open for July 4," owner Lorna Bluestein said, adding that she is still perfecting her business with a grand opening tentatively scheduled for September.

Bluestein said she wanted to fill what she believes is a need in Cape Coral, a space for creative people. She said she wanted her own studio, as well as creating a space where people can come and collaborate with other creative people.

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Hands On Art Gallery and Studio owner Lorna Bluestein.

"It's a very small and quaint 1,000-square-foot, very comfortable, space," she said, which is located at 1625 S.E. 47th Terrace. "It's a cozy atmosphere that I am trying to create."

The space provides Bluestein a place to show and sell her artwork, as well as offer workshops, parties and an open studio where people can stop by and create their own artwork.

"I have a studio for people to make their own art," she said. "They can come in while I am there and do their own thing. They are welcome to do that. Or, I can help them."

The open studio is available during store hours, Tuesday, through Friday, from 12-5 p.m. The open studio cost includes use of all supplies and studio time.

Workshops are held three times a week, for two to three hours at a time. The next workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 4. Participants will have the opportunity to paint a pair of flamingos on an 11 X 14 canvas. The workshop is $25 per person.

Another workshop, furniture painting, will be held from 12-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. Participants bring their own stool, chair or small piece of furniture they wish to paint. Lunch is included in the $30 registration price.

As far as private parties, Bluestein said individuals can invite whomever they want and she can instruct them in whatever they wish. There is a 20 person limit, due to space restraints.

"I'm open to a variety of whatever people want to do. If I don't have it I can research it and make it happen," Bluestein said.

She said she also hopes to attract the younger crowd - kids.

"If younger guys want to come, we can figure out something that they can do that is age appropriate," Bluestein said.

Some of the artwork Bluestein is working on includes creating custom, hand-painted signs, painted coconuts and fluid painting.

"That's really cool stuff. The way you pour it on is what you create," she explained. "Sometimes you don't have control of what you can create and the design."

A fluid painting workshop will be held from 6-9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24. It is $40 per person. Participants will make their own clock using the fluid painting technique.

Bluestein is also holding workshops where she is designating a portion of the proceeds to go back to specific organizations.

An upcoming event, Coconut Painting, will be held Aug. 10, from 6-9 p.m. It is $30 per person. The theme of the class is "paint a coconut to look like a manatee." Ten percent of the sales will benefit the Save a Manatee Foundation.

"I want to do more of this and give back to the community," she said.

Before Bluestein taught at Ida Baker High School, she lived in Colorado for 20 years where she was a preschool teacher for 14 of those years.

"Art with the little guys was always my favorite," she said.

The freedom of expression, creativity and meeting new people is what has kept Bluestein's interest in art for so many years.

"I love collaborating and freedom to experiment," she said.

Bluestein has a fine arts degree from Indiana University.

For a full listing of workshops, visit handsonartgallery.com. Although individuals cannot pay for their workshop online, they can register and reserve their space.

For additional information, call 239-233-5662, or email HandsOnArtGallery AndStudio@gmail.com.



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