By: Jan Engoren Contributing Writer
Thanks to a $1.5 million dollar donation, The Boca Raton Museum of Art has a new, pedestrian-friendly and more welcoming façade.
The south and west sides of the pink building, originally designed by Donald Singer in 2001, have been given new life thanks to the Ft. Lauderdale-based design team of Margi Glavovic Nothard of Glavovic Studio and Studio Roberto Rovira.
“This is a personal mission,” said board president Jody Grass. Revitalizing the two most public-facing sides of the museum increases the stature of the museum and of Mizner Park. It’s very important to make sure the community knows where the museum is; now there is no doubt.”
The exterior has been re-imagined, with new paint, outdoor lighting, new signage, a new promenade and walkway lined with native grasses and sculptures from the museum’s own interior sculpture garden given new life around the perimeter of the museum.
Artist John Henry’s large, red, abstract steel sculpture “Meridian,” inspired by the ruins of San Galgano, Italy, now sits prominently outside the building on Federal Highway., having been relocated from its former home at the Museum School on Palmetto Park Road
“This has been a long time coming and we are thrilled with the results,” Grass said. “The renovation represents our commitment to Mizner Park and to art in public places.”
“This is a new chapter for downtown Boca Raton,” she said.
The loading dock gate has been replaced with a 12-foot high screen of metal, mirrored, and acrylic panels, designed by Nothard and entitled “Mending Wall,” an homage to the poem by Robert Frost.
The panels, ranging from dark to light grey, are lit from within and without, with translucent acrylic on the outer layer and bright yellow and polished mirror stainless steel panels on the inner layer.
Visitors can glance through the porous screen into the museum loading dock while gazing at their own reflection. The gated partition continues around the southwest corner as a vertical 12-foot-green wall of Bougainvillea, and other native grasses.
The promenade leads to artist Geoffrey Hendricks’s vinyl panel, “Changing Daytime Sky,” based on a painting he completed at the Worpswede artist colony in Germany and custom fit for the museum’s windows, just before his death earlier this year.
“The museum has come out of the shadows to bring people together,” said executive director Irvin Lippman. “By integrating the inside and the outside of the museum, we’ve created a dynamic environment without boundaries or borders. It’s a singularly welcoming structure in a communal space.”