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Peek at Boca Resort plans from insider art maven

What’s going on behind the gates at the Boca Raton Resort & Club? We asked Deborah Sponder, the art gallery president who provides the massive outdoor sculptures on the property and has a gallery in the lobby.

Reminder: MSD Partners, a Dell company, bought the property including the Beach Club in June 2019. Plans for massive renovations include a water park and giving the restaurants waterfront views. Hotel guests still book through Waldorf Astoria Resorts.

Q: Is art still a part of the plans?

A: The only thing we’ve been asked to do is relocate those sculptures. We’re told what spaces to put them in. Even the space in the main lobby next to reception. They want us to stay there. We’ve been there 11 years.

Q: Why do you think that is?

A: Our presence at the Boca Resort offers a unique art viewing experience and expands the context of contemporary art beyond the traditional confines of a gallery. We believe in the importance of art in public places. It has the ability to transform the spaces in which we live.

Q: Are the outdoor sculptures always in the same places?

A: We sell them and a lot of them are on loan from the artist. That was the whole idea, not to get stagnant. At any one time we have 15 pieces spread out throughout the Resort.

Q: Are you told when construction will start and what you will have to do?

A: They’re reopened and we expect construction to start in September. They already closed down 501 East above the golf club. We’re excited about the prospect.

Q: Why are you excited?

A: What they’re going to do for Boca. The layout for a water park and restaurants moving onto the water.

Q: How is your art business per se and Sponder Gallery doing in this pandemic?

A: Now it’s mostly online and international, so we’re faring well. We’re open at Boca Resort at least two months. The gallery on East Palmetto Park Road won’t reopen this year. We meet with clients at our warehouse. We do Facetime consultations at home. People can go to our website or call me at 561-241-3050.

By Marci Shatzman  Sculpture in photo “The Family” by Boaz Vaadia

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