Masterpiece Portraits Of 35 Cats And Dogs Murals Now Hanging In Osceola Park


Art in the Alley to bring awareness to PBC Animal Control efforts

By: David DiPino Contributing Writer

Christine Burch has eight cats one of which is the focus of her mural titled: Katz & Mous now displayed in the Art Alley just off of Southeast Second Street between Southeast Third and Fourth Avenues.

Burch joined over 50 other artists just south of the new SOFA Building in Delray Beach to brighten the alleyway with felines and raise awareness for the Palm Beach County Animal Control efforts.

Burch said the theme of her work came from a postcard by Quint Buccholtz, a Dutch-German painter, illustrator and author.

“This is my seventh year in a row (painting murals in alleys around Delray Beach). I love this theme (“Cats & Dogs in the Alley),” Burch said.

Laurel Hecht is an accomplished artist who’s been featured in galleries around the world. One of the first things she did after moving from the frozen tundra of Cleveland, Ohio to Delray Beach was to get involved in community art projects. Hecht lives in a residential west Delray Beach community but came east to Downtown’s Osceola Park neighborhood just south of Atlantic Ave. and Southeast Second Street to paint her contribution to the murals.

“When I found out the theme was cats and dogs in the alley I thought now this was something that I don’t regularly do,” Hecht said.

Hecht’s career as an artist has included gallery shows in the art centers of London, Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Denver, Scottsdale and Cleveland. Orchids, people, butterflies, and landscapes have been some of Hecht’s themes to date but never cats.

“The camaraderie here at Art in the Alley is awesome mainly due to the fact I don’t know anybody,” Hecht said.

That helped Hecht and her wife to step outside of their comfort zones and meet others in the Osceola Park neighborhood.

Lynn DaVanso Korp, a Delray Beach resident for the past 21-years and business owner of Renaissance Restoration Studio, 215 SE Fifth Ave., said she came to paint because of its close proximity to her digs.

“I live and work on my property and I love living in Delray,” DaVanso Korp said.

She brought her friend Melissa Schechter, a Marina District resident and owner of Traffic Cones For Less, to paint with mural artist Sharon Koskoff and friends.

“Melissa was my client and then we became friends,” DaVanso Korp said.

The Art in the Alley event was the first time Schecter has painted out with a group of friends since moving from Broward County a few years ago.

At the Osceola Park Art in the Alley reception event, PBC Animal Control talked with local residents about live animals for adoption and educational services.

Delray Beach Mural Artist Sharon Koskoff organized the 35 “Art in the Alley” artist volunteers to paint 35 vividly colored murals panels.

“This project excites me year after year! It is an innovative example of art changing communities,” said Bill Nix, Art Consultant.

Art in the Alley Coordinators James and Lisa Quillian regularly work to beautify their neighborhood through community efforts. Due to damage from Hurricane Irma, Art in the Alley re-did an “expansion” along with previous art hung in 2014.

For the past eight years, the Quillian’s have maintained the Art in the Alleys including last year’s successful Mardi Gras in the Alley, next to Grangers Restaurant. Sharon Koskoff donated the paint and materials needed for the artists and the Quillian’s organized the party, installed the art and maintained the alley.

“The party is the Largest Pot Luck in Delray Beach,” James Quillian said.