Published On: Tue, Dec 8th, 2020

Boca Council picks artist to paint mural at Mizner Amphitheater, Delays Land Hearing

By: Dale King

The Boca Raton City Council Tuesday selected an artist to paint a mural on the front doors of the Count de Hoernle Amphitheater at the north end of Mizner Park.

The painter was selected from a group of 29 applicants who submitted proposals for the project being proposed by the Art in Public Places (AIPP) Advisory Board headed up by Councilwoman and Deputy Mayor Andrea O’Rourke.

The artist was not named. That person was listed only as Number 9 among the 29 painters who expressed official interest in participating during the application period that ran from Oct. 16 to Nov. 16.

Council members reviewed photos of all the proposed artwork at a council workshop meeting Monday, then made their final decision at Tuesday’s regular council meeting.  Mayor Scott Singer and the other four council members all agreed on Artist Number 9.

“The intention is to select an artist or artists who can create an expressive, inspiring mural on the stage doors that is reflective of downtown Boca and the spirit of the city’s art, history and culture,” said Ruby Childers, the city’s downtown manager, who addressed council members at both meetings.

O’Rourke said she was “looking for professionalism” in the entries. “It can be iconic; it doesn’t have to be completely literal.”

Most council members who came up with a list of top 5 entrants picked Number 9 along with a couple of others. 

Council members rejected one entry because it included a painting of a fishing pier that is not in Boca.

The “canvas” area of the Mizner Park stage door is 60 feet wide by 30 feet high. The doors are divided into six 10-foot-wide panels. 

Work on the mural is scheduled to begin in early January and should be finished by the end of March.

This is the third project being undertaken through the AIPP.

Land Transfer Hearing Deferred

A public hearing scheduled for Tuesday night on a plan to transfer about 15 acres of city-owned land to the Palm Beach County School Board for construction of a new elementary school has been postponed until Jan. 12.

The three proposed city-owned parcels near Don Estridge Middle School

City Manager Leif Ahnell said the advertisement announcing the hearing was not sent to several property owners who live adjacent to the land eyed for the new school.

Ahnell asked the council to open the hearing, then close it and continue it to Jan. 12, which was done.

Currently referred to as School O5-C, the education facility will be built on land being donated by the city of Boca Raton near Don Estridge High Tech Middle School, a donation first orchestrated by then-Councilman and now Mayor, Scott Singer, and District 5 Board Member and School Board Chair, Frank Barbieri, in January 2019.

The board had money available for a school project if one was ready to go. Singer and Barbieri jumped at the opportunity to bring it to Boca.

The site will house the first new school to be built in the city in many years. It will provide up to 1,000 new student seats to relieve overcrowding at all the city’s elementary schools. There is also talk of turning some schools, possibly O5-C, into a kindergarten-grade 8 center.

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