Art group heeds Palm Beach ideas at annual directors' luncheon

Members of the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts took a deep breath on May 11, allowing actions and success of its ArtQuest 2006 to register.

Board of directors and guests joined together in a luncheon to celebrate and name new directors.

After Sandi Johnson led a steering committee that set the footing for the organization, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn was elected president.

" 'Imagine the Possibilities' was our motto," Sanborn said. Little did she or foundation members realize how far they could go in one year.

Harnessing the energy of many in the community, they fulfilled their mission of providing art in public places.

And not just any art, 15 sculptures done by local, national and world-renowned artists.

Around ArtQuest was the creation of a historical post card, advancing children's artistic tiles, a sculptors symposium and a People's Choice Award, choosing the best of the sculptures.

"We are now in the process of working with donors to obtain quality artwork for the island," she said. "We have become a catalyst for the arts on Marco and encouraged the island to participate in the process. It has been a positive, inclusive approach."

At the luncheon Manuel Bornia, artistic director and CEO of the Cultural Trust of the Palm Beaches, challenged them to go further. He used his experience in developing the Palm Beach International Sculpture Biennale, exposing the Wellington area and the world to 80 internationally-known artists.

More than 37,000 people came to the event.

Manuel Bornia, director and CEO of Cultural Trust of the Palm Beaches, talks about how a cultural center is becoming a reality in the City of Wellington on Florida's East Coast at the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts luncheon on May 11.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE, Marco Eagle

Manuel Bornia, director and CEO of Cultural Trust of the Palm Beaches, talks about how a cultural center is becoming a reality in the City of Wellington on Florida's East Coast at the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts luncheon on May 11.

But that was just one of the many cultural experiences the trust has nurtured. Playground for Young Audiences, Palm Beach International Jazz Festival and Director's Cut, a lecture series. It has led to the design of a multipurpose cultural campus to broaden the entertainment options of Palm Beach County, serving as a multi-disciplined arts resource and education center for the community.

He spoke of a Young Artists' Showcase as a way for the foundation to energize the next generation who will be its future. Bornia suggested the foundation work with the city and county for a community hub for the arts, something being suggested as a possibility for Veterans Community Park on Marco.

"A strong art program will raise property values 12 to 15 percent," he said. "At first it will be a hard sell, but if you make art part of your day-to-day life you can succeed."

The foundation directors include Kathy and David Caruso, Karen Dowling, Joel Gewirtz, Keith Dameron, Krumm, Claudio Klug-Kowel, Kathy Sullivan, Johnson, Claire Keery, Cynthia Price, Sanborn and Val Simon.

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