Boca put out a call to mural artists with a track record to dress up the blank canvas that covers Mizner Park Amphitheater. The stage doors are 30 feet high by 60 feet wide, six panels about 10 feet each. No easy task.
But as Boca’s third Art in Public Places venture: “It’s a great opportunity to bring some life to our city during this downtime and get ready for a coming out.” That’s Deputy Mayor Andrea Levine O’Rourke’s take on her pet projects. She even announced the call on her personal Facebook page.
They didn’t have to be from Boca. “There are no limitations. A few people have even come forward as a group,” she said.
How much will the artist be paid, once city council makes the final selection with alternates? “The $7,500 budget covers the artist’s expenses. That includes but not limited to paint, supplies, site preparation, installation and clean-up,” said downtown manager Ruby Childers. The work could begin on Jan. 4, 2021, she added.
Mural artist Georgeta Fondes, left, and Deputy Mayor Andrea Levine O’Rourke
Like all volunteer boards, the city suspended Art in Public Places meetings during Covid. But there’s still $62,500 set aside in the city budget. “After this project, the remaining balance is $55,000,” Childers said.
The call to artists asked for the work to be “inspiring.” Not just for residents and visitors to the site. But the adjoining Boca Raton Museum of Art and Mizner Park per se.
“When I proposed this, I did eight to 12 slides with ideas. Other cities’ looked like an old-fashioned postcard with elements of landmarks of the city. City council took to that particular slide,” O’Rourke said.
When will the artist be selected? Council could decide before the holidays, she said.
The previous projects included the entrance to Red Reef Park West on six maintenance walls and the gatehouse. That’s the back entrance to Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, still closed but the open boardwalk. The tunnels from Spanish River Park to the beach were also decorated.
By Marci Shatzman