Boca Raton Museum of Art — New Exhibits Open

Posted on 01 November 2020 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

One of the pieces from the “My Thirteen Presidents” exhibit by Benjamin Patterson.

Art looks at life in a new way at The Boca Raton Museum of Art. Three new exhibitions opened Oct. 7 and will be open through Jan. 3, 2021.

The first exhibit you will notice as you walk past the museum’s new lobby and desk (They also created a new Wolgin Education Center in their renovations) is the Benjamin Patterson collection entitled “My Thirteen Presidents”. A series of small framed works of art, each is a collage of sorts featuring a picture of a U.S. president fused onto a “body” that exemplifies the animal they are associated with in Chinese astrology. President George W. Bush is a metal dragon,  Franklin D. Roosevelt is a water monkey, Lyndon B. Johnson is a Water Tiger, etc. That image is set atop another image that correlates to their presidency, and below is info. on their presidency. He only features presidents during his lifetime –1935 to 2009. President Obama had just gotten into office when Patterson passed away. This artist was one of the founding members of the Fluxus art movement, and its only Black member. Patterson was an accomplished orchestral musician, but he felt forced to leave the U.S. in 1960 to live abroad because no symphonies would hire an African American. 

This series is part of the My Presidents and Other Recent Acquisitions exhibition curated by the museum’s Assistant Curator Kelli Bodle. Patterson’s work sits across from Jeanne Silverthorne’s sculpted fire extinguishers, and other gems.

“The Mask” by Trine Lise Nedreaas.

As you follow the wall, in front of you, you will see three huge projected films, a video series by Trine Lise Nedreaas called “The Mask”. These three panels each show a person in various stages of putting on a mask. The makeup and props they position on themselves change the way they look and their costumes further obscure them, changing their very personality it seems in the process. In this era of COVID-19, everyone has been changed, wearing masks daily– but their masks are out of necessity, for health reasons. This piece of art questions why the folks in these frames have chosen this masked life… perhaps just to entertain.

One of the “Entertainers” pieces by Trine Lise Nedreaas. This one features a contortionist and is called “Pulse”.

Speaking of entertainment, Nedreaas also has another series called “The Entertainers.” One large scale video next to those showing “The Mask” features Mac Donaldi, King of Soap Bubbles. Mac Donadi becomes a master creator as he blows life into large soap bubbles. Spheres of light bounce off each translucent bouncy globe. He manipulates them, plays with them, makes them more visible by adding white smoke to their interior, giving them essence, and then –pop– he breaks them and the white smoke escapes, evaporates and is no more. It seems to exemplify creation and destruction, evanescence and the beauty and futility perhaps of life.

Another large video around the corner showcases a series of glittery shapes, writhing about like slithering snakes… It soon becomes clear that they are moving limbs of a bedazzled contortionist, who moves her torso, her arms, her hands, her feet in different positions close up, making each part look like it is something it is not – like a shining landscape ready to be explored. That piece is entitled “Pulse”.

Nearby are smaller videos, including a drab bespectacled looking elderly woman melding into the drab beige curtains behind her as she sings Frank Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way” without much passion, and a woman taking a ventriloquist out of the box, playing with it for a bit and ultimately leaving it alone in a piece called Yana and No Name”. Back in the hallway, there are a series of “Forget Me Not” videos, including a sword swallowing girl, a man breaking boards on his head and another man scarfing up hot dogs as fast as he can. These are a few in her collection that talks about people’s desire for fame.

Some of the Jeff Whyman exhibition upstairs.

Upstairs is a new ceramics exhibition by Jeff Whyman. A video shows how he works his wheel as he mixes together a mass of materials to create outerworldly formations based in a terrestrial medium. A large collection of his work is on display.




Some of the great pieces in “Works on Paper: Drawn From the Collection”.

Make sure to review all of the exhibitions throughout the museum. There are some wonderful charcoals and other drawings in an exhibition called “Works on Paper: Drawn From the Collection.” You will find a wide array of captivating pieces, including works by Picasso, Seurat, Matisse, Modigliani, Klee and more. There are 75 pieces that were culled from their collection and include several gifts from the George and Helen Segal Foundation, The Saul Steinberg Foundation, Wojciech Szczepanski and Pamela Rockett, and John Raimondi. This 1989 donation of 65 works was one of the most important gifts in the Museum’s history. Drawings from the 2007 Isadore and Kelly Friedman Bequest are also featured.

Make sure to check out the ancient artifacts and pottery upstairs!

There are additional works throughout, including a glass and ceramic sculptures, and even ancient artifacts from Latin and South America and Pre Columbian artworks.

Also see large colorful murals in the Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flowers.

As of Nov. 1, a new exhibit by Renee Cox was displayed as well, including a piece called “The Signing,” which is a 15 ft. long photograph featuring men and women of color in place of the Founding Fathers.

See the large colorful murals in the Edward Steichen: In Exaltation of Flowers exhibit.

Just a cropped section of Renee Coxs “The Signing”.

For more information, visit


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Boca Raton Historical Society’s 24th Annual Walk of Recognition–Nov. 4

Posted on 31 October 2020 by JLusk









The Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum will be honoring Teresa “Terry” Fedele, the late Jay H. Van Vechten and the Boca Ballet Theatre at the 24th annual Walk of Recognition ceremony on Wednesday, November 4 at 6 p.m. 

This year’s smaller ceremony will adhere to CDC guidelines, and will include face masks and social distancing, due to COVID-19.  Additionally, this year’s videotaped ceremony will be accessible on the BRHS&M website   This year’s honorees will also be celebrated, at the 2021 Walk of Recognition ceremony and reception, that will be held at The Addison in Boca Raton.

The Walk of Recognition event’s Presenting Sponsors are Marta and Jim Batmasian; the Committee Co-Chairs are Marta Batmasian and Joyce DeVita; and the Committee Members are Denise Alman and Ann Schauer.

Instituted in 1997, the Walk of Recognition award ceremony will highlight each inductee’s name–which will be inscribed on a granite plaque on the “Walk” or on the Wall of Honor (for those who are deceased)–which will be set into a commemorative monument, featuring the mission of the program, beneath the Mizner statue in Royal Palm Place in Boca Raton. The plaques are underwritten by Marta Batmasian, as part of her commitment to her community.

BRHS&M Executive Director Mary Csar states, “The Walk of Recognition is my favorite event because we have the opportunity to honor the outstanding individuals and organizations who have built our community.  We are proud to recognize people from all walks of life, along with a wide range of institutions and organizations, who have made a positive impact on the quality of life here.”



Boca Raton resident Teresa “Terry” Fedele is an extraordinarily dedicated volunteer, whose boundless optimism and “can-do” spirit, have made a significant impact on the community. Since moving to Boca Raton with her husband Jerry Fedele, from their native Pittsburgh in 2008, she has channeled her strong passion for health care and children to volunteer and lead numerous organizations. It is no surprise that her impressive CV boasts a long list of boards, committees, events, and organizations, where she has made a definitive mark by contributing her time and her talent.

Her noteworthy accomplishments include serving on many committees for the Boca Raton Regional Hospital, including the Go Pink Luncheon and the Hospital Ball, and acting as the coordinator for the Boca Raton Championship —  The Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Pro-Am. She is currently the Board Chair of FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Advisory Board; Board President of the Caring Heart’s Auxiliary of FAU’s Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center (she has co-chaired their yearly Keep Memories Alive Walk since 2012); Board Member of the Lynn University Conservatory of Music; Board member of the YMCA of Boca Raton; committee member of the George Snow Scholarship Fund’s Boca’s Ballroom Battle (she was a dancer in 2017 and the top female fundraiser that year) and co-chairwoman of their Caribbean Cowboy Ball in 2014; member of the Soroptomist Club (she has co-chaired their Women of Distinction event for the past few years, was honored as a Woman of Distinction in 2015, and served as the event’s Honorary Chairperson in 2016); and member of Impact 100 of Palm Beach County.

Prior to moving to Boca Raton, Fedele forged an impressive career in health care in Pittsburgh. While she began her career as a registered nurse, she went on to hold various executive positions, including executive vice president of hospital operations for some of PIttsburgh’s leading hospitals.

When she is not volunteering, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and playing golf.


While the late Jay H. Van Vechten was known for his larger-than-life personality, his positive spirit, his world travels, his lavish Christmas parties, and his expertise in public relations, he was also distinguished by his true passion for helping people with disabilities. He was appreciated for transforming a beach picnic, for the disabled, into an extremely popular community event which attracted thousands of people each year. He chaired the American Disabilities Foundation, Inc. and he served as the executive director of his annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities.

Van Vechten launched The Bash–which has been known as the nation’s largest free event for people with physical disabilities and/or intellectual challenges–in 2009.  What was previously a smaller event, for people living in group homes, grew to include wounded soldiers and Purple Heart recipients. The Bash regularly draws over 5000 people, each year, who enjoy a day-long BBQ and rides on boats and yachts, along with a wide range of children’s activities. As an advocate for the disabled, he worked tirelessly to make Boca Raton a welcoming place for people with disabilities. He campaigned for handicapped parking and beach access, for the disabled, and he enjoyed celebrating individuals who had overcome handicaps and had accomplished milestones. He considered himself disabled, after suffering a fall in 2001.

Van Vechten had previously operated an award-winning New York City public relations firm–Van Vechten and Co.–specializing in medical, pharmaceutical, and health care clients for several decades. He relocated to Boca Raton, in the 1990s, and became a vital part of the philanthropic community along with his wife, Lowell.


Now in its 30th year, Boca Ballet Theatre’s vision can be described as inspiration through exposure. This Boca Raton organization was launched, in 1990, by a group of dedicated families. Two years later, Co-Artistic Directors, Dan Guin and Jane Tyree, joined them. Under their inspired leadership, the Company has blossomed while providing dance training curriculum, a wide range of outreach programs in the community, and professional performances. The Company is comprised of the performing arts entity–the Boca Ballet Theatre–and the School of Boca Ballet.

BBT joins world-class guest artists with well-trained aspiring youth dancers, on stage, to enhance the dancers’ training beyond the physicality of teaching ballet steps. Each season, BBT presents professional performances of The Nutcracker, including free performances for public school children; a full-length story ballet; and a reportory collection.  BBT’s production, of The Nutcracker, is the longest running in Palm Beach County. The School of BBT prides itself on providing high-quality instruction, in a safe and nurturing environment, with a stair-step approach for successful training and workshops for all ages. They have also created a nationwide workshop–The Artistic Directors’ Intensive Performance Workshop–to join artistic directors, from prominent professional ballet companies, with advanced dancers who are ready to be hired. Additionally, they have created the College Dance Fair, an annual nationwide event, which joins dancers–who are seeking a college experience–with nine top dance universities. BBT’s many outreach programs include free after-school introductory dance programs; scholarship programs for students who wish to continue training; and a certified dance program, of free classes, using effective dance movements to address Parkinson’s disease symptoms.


The mission and the purpose of the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum is to collect, preserve, and present information and artifacts, relevant to the past and evolving history of Boca Raton, and to maintain a visible role in the education and advocacy of historic preservation in our community.

The BRHS&M is currently undergoing an extensive renovation, to historic Town Hall, in preparation for new immersive exhibits. The new exhibits will document both the development and growth of Boca Raton, from its origins as a small farming community, to the thriving residential and business community–with over 100,000 residents–that it is today.  The Museum is slated to reopen to the public by the end of 2020.  All funds that are raised, from the Walk of Recognition, will enable the Museum to provide ongoing programs and new and exciting exhibits for the community. The dynamic new design will allow for both permanent and changing exhibits, enhanced educational opportunities for adults and children, and a more rewarding visitor experience. 

For additional information, please go to

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The Haunted Arboretum brings a frightfully good time to Deerfield

Posted on 31 October 2020 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

In the pitch black with only a flicker of colored lights to guide my way, this reporter stumbled through the trees, through the fog trying to find my way through the tree zoo before they got me… They, being the ghosts and goblins, and clowns and creatures, that haunted the twisted pathways on the day before Halloween…

The day before Halloween, The Haunted Arboretum in Constitution Park in Deerfield Beach was ready to greet its next victims. The process of its transformation took three days, according to the City of Deerfield Parks & Recreation Manager II Adele Trizzino. She accomplished the task with the help of 12 staff members and 26 volunteers. They served up some screams to 200 people that night. 

Everything was socially distanced and people wore masks even though it was outside. Temperatures were also taken upon entry and hand sanitizer was available. 

Even Commissioner Michael Hudak and his wife, and Commissioner Drotsky braved the scary path…Did you?

Remember, these pics. were taken with a flash… think about encountering these creatures in the dark!

Some of the victims… ahem, I mean… visitors…

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Miami Book Fair is virtual this year!

Posted on 30 October 2020 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

This year, the Miami Book Fair is accessible right from your living room no matter where you live… and almost everything is free to watch! The fair will include plenty of book talks, Q&As and more, and even a virtual book marketplace. The events run Nov. 15 to 22 and will kickoff with Maragret Atwood, author of the well-known “Handmaids tale,” which has become a popular show on Hulu. This time she is focusing on a new book, this one is of poetry. Called “Dearly,” In Dearly, it is her first collection of poetry in over a decade, Atwood addresses themes such as love, loss, the passage of time, the nature of nature and – zombies.

   The format for this year’s event was talked about during a special Zoom happy hour on Oct. 8 in which Lisette Mendez, director of programs, and co-founder Mitchell Kaplan hosted the event and other staff members chimed in, sharing their favorite books and authors. That event also included a musical interlude by Richie Hell with art by his wife Francisca Oyhanarte. They also unveiled this year’s whimsical poster created bt Dan Santat, who is an award-winning children’s book author, illustrator and creator of Disney’s animated series “The Replacements.” The poster image is also available on cups, shirts and more on the Miami Book Fair website.

   Although the site does not really come alive until Nov. 15, starting Nov. 1, people will be able to go on the website and create their own personal watchlist and complete their profiles based on their interests, so they can be sent reccomendations, and they can begin browsing. But you can go ahead and register for free now.

   There will be a lot of great authors in attendance, including Dean Koontz, Chuck Flink, Lenny Kravitz, Jodi Picoult, Carl Hiaasen, Peter Wartman, Richard Blanco, Roxane Gay, Lee Child, Chuck Palahniuk, Dr. Peniel Joseph, Nikky Finney, Sarah Frey, Bari Weiss, James McBride, Emma Straub, poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Kalynn Bayron, Justin Reynolds, Walter Mosley, Rev. Barber, Fatima Mirza, Claudia Rankine, Chip Kidd, Bill Nye The Science Guy and Erin Brokovitch. Even Natalie Portman will be there with her new book “Natalie Portman’s Fables”.

   Visit or email 

Pictured below: Authors Maragaret Atwood, Dave Barry & Car Hiaasen… just a few of the many great authors involved in this year’s Miami Book Fair.

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Deerfield Chamber merges with GFLCC, holds Town Hall Nov. 5

Posted on 29 October 2020 by JLusk

DB Commissioners Todd Drosky and Joe Miller with the Chamber’s Betty Masi, & Denise Jordan. Photo provided by Denise Jordan.

Did you know that the Deerfield Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce (GFLCC) have merged? This seems to be the next step for the local Chamber, which already went through a rebranding. This newest change will go into effect Nov. 1 and they will be closing the Deerfield office.

When asked why they have made this move, Executive Director Denise Jordan said, “This was a successful integration strategy, years in the making for increasing market access, creating expansive opportunities for collaboration and innovation. Our goal is to deliver long-term value to all of our members in our Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber and Deerfield Beach as we move towards regionalization.”

Jordan also has another personal change she has announced. She will become the Senior Vice President at GFLCC and will be on the board at Broward Alliance.

They will become the Deerfield Beach Council at the GFLCC, joining other councils like the Downtown Council, the Council of Economic Advisors and the Women’s Council.

Dan Lindblade, the GFLCC President and CEO, said,“Welcoming the DBCC into our family strengthens our goal of regionalization to better serve more businesses across an expanded territory.”

Want to know more about what this change means to our community? The Chamber is holding a free virtual Town Hall on Nov. 5 from 9 to 10 a.m. The event information is listed on their website:


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Fall Back–Daylight Savings Time Ends–Sunday, Nov. 1

Posted on 28 October 2020 by JLusk

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 a.m! So, that means an hour more of Halloween (or Harvest) festivities to enjoy!


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Fall Festival is Oct. 31

Posted on 26 October 2020 by JLusk

The City of Deerfield was originally supposed to have their Fall Festival last weekend but changed the date to Saturday, Oct. 31 due to the rain. It will be held at Villages of Hillsboro Park, 4111 NW 6 St., from 4 to 9 p.m. 

They are encouraging all participants that attend to dress up and decorate their vehicle. They will have a contest for the most creative vehicle, scariest vehicles and most spirited vehicle. Bring the family out to enjoy their live DJ and participate in the truck or treat drive through with the Broward Sheriff’s Office! 

They will also be hosting a drive-in movie starting at 5:30 p.m. with their storyteller, Pumpkin Patty, as she brings fall to life with stories on the main stage. Immediately following will be a drive-in movie at 7 p.m! All residents are free with proof of residency. There is $5 fee per vehicle for non-residents. Registration is required, and spots are limited.

You can also enjoy a pumpkin pick-up at

Constitution Park (2841 W Hillsboro Blvd.) & the Oveta McKeithan Recreational Complex (445 SW 2nd St.) from 4 to 7 p.m. tonight, Monday, Oct. 24 and Tuesday, Oct. 27. You must pre-register for a pumpkin. Supplies while last. If you do not pre-register, you have to show proof of residency.  Non-residents must pay $2.
For registration and more info., visit or call 954-480-4429.

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Haunted Arboretum

Posted on 26 October 2020 by JLusk

The City of Deerfield Beach brings you the Haunted Arboretum on Friday, Oct. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. Journey through the “tree zoo” and see what haunts await you. You can even bring others (groups up to 6 are allowed). You must wear a mask and expect to have your temperature taken. $1 for residents/ $5 for non-residents. The Arboretum is located in Constitution Park, at 2841 W. Hillsboro Blvd. in Deerfield Beach. For more information, call 954-480-4494.

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Salvation Army seeks bell ringers

Posted on 14 October 2020 by JLusk

Dan and Maria Aimone ringing the bell last holiday season.

By Rachel Galvin

Need a bit more moola to make your holidays merry this season? The Salvation Army just might do the trick. And — bonus — you also can give back to others in the process. They are seeking bell ringers… you know, those Santa’s helpers who ring the bell next to the red kettle in front of many storefronts each season. All proceeds from what is received in those red kettles goes straight to support Salvation Army’s feeding, shelter and social service programs. Last year, they raised more than $213, 205 for the Greater Ft. Lauderdale community.

Ready to apply? Their hiring event is taking place Oct. 14 & 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at The Salvation Army Community Center, 100 SW 9 Ave. in Ft. Lauderdale. They are looking to hire 125 new people. Bell ringers will work from Nov. 13 to Dec. 24. There will be another job fair on Nov. 4.

The Red Kettle Bell Ringers program is only part of the nonprofit organization’s efforts to help those less fortunate. Last year’s Angel Tree Program secured and distributed more than 8,046 toys to 1,061 families with diminished resources. The Salvation Army is actively assisting thousands of residents-in-need through its Food Pantry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each Thursday, trusted Army experts provide non-perishable items and other pantry goods to more hundreds of underserved families. The organization also provides meals-to-go services for the homeless, its residents and other impoverished individuals.

For more information, contact Robert Beasley at or call 954-712-2480.

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Back to School

Posted on 12 October 2020 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

On Friday, Oct. 9, Superintendent Runcie traveled around Broward County visiting schools as some students started to refill the classrooms. At this time, only Pre-K to 2nd grade and all ESE students were welcomed back. It won’t be until Tuesday, Oct. 13 when more students will arrive — grades 3-6 and 9. Two days later, on Oct. 15, grades 7,8,10, 11 and 12 will come back.  

This return to schools is nearly 7 months after being forced to close due to COVID-19. Parents have been busy learning how to educate their children at home since the school year began. The option for eLearning is still available. A recent parent survey combined with direct requests to schools reveals that 1,531 pre-K parents opted for on-campus learning, 4,262 kindergarteners, 4,311 1st graders and 4,252 2nd graders. Approximately 5,500 students with disabilities in all other grade levels.  

“Our District staff has made a tremendous effort to prepare our schools for students with all the measures necessary to make reopening our campuses as safe as possible,” said BCPS Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “We’re happy to offer this face-to-face option for parents, and we’re excited to see our students back in the classroom.”  

Did your child go back to school, or are you a teacher now back in the classroom? Let The Observer know how you feel about being back at school during a pandemic. Email us at


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