At its most basic level, the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts is an opportunity to break down certain barriers.
All pretense is stripped away and communication between artist and buyer becomes the focus, a "holding, touching and seeing" between the two that borders on primeval, according to John Jacobsen.
He said that type of communication harkens back to a time when humanity cared more for nuance and meaning than it does for texting acronyms to each other, a decidedly modern way to express feeling.
Artist Jason Parsley is once again bringing his pottery from Cincinnati to the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts.
These opportunities really make the festival special, he said, because the creator of a piece and its admirer are locked into a special dance that doesn't even require words.
"Art allows for souls to communicate," he said.
Of course, the festival also allows for Cape Coral to welcome over 100,000 visitors during its two-day stretch.
Entering its 27th year, the festival was founded by Jacobsen because Lee County had no such festival, which greatly annoyed the Rotary Club member, CRA executive director and one-time painter.
Now, almost three decades later the festival features hundreds of artists from multiple mediums, all vying for that special bond that Jacobsen says is at the heart of what the festival is trying to accomplish.
"You are putting the person who created it with the person who is seeing it. The communication between creator and viewer is so fun to watch," he said.
The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts runs Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 14 - 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in downtown Cape Coral. The festival actually takes place smack-dab in the middle of Cape Coral Parkway.
It's an all encompassing affair that will feature 300 artists, some traveling from far flung locales across the country.
Jacobsen said only 35 of the 300 artists are from Cape Coral or Fort Myers, which means that a majority of artists are traveling here to take part. They come from all different backgrounds, Jacobsen said. And are all at various stages in their careers. Some are fine tuning their craft, while others are just discovering what it means to make a living doing something you love.
"That's part of the joy. You're getting people from all walks of life," he said. "You see them taking different paths, making different decisions and getting instant feedback because of the interaction with the buyer."
Jacobsen and the Rotary Club tinkered their formula over the years, including the addition of live music.
But, in the end, the focus always shifted back to the communication between artist and admirer, along with all the wonderful opportunities to appreciate all the splendor of unfettered creation.
"This brings art to the people in a non-threatening manner," Jacobsen said. "You don't have know anything about art to enjoy it and have a good time."
The 2012 Cape Coral Festival of the Arts is free and open to the public.