Boca Raton, FL — Neon colors, larger-than-life flowers and bananas, and shiny disco backdrops greeted more than 450 guests at the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s Annual Gala & After Party. The event took place on January 31 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club and the theme was inspired by the Museum’s current Warhol exhibitions. The Pop artist’s influence was evident everywhere, from the décor to the entertainment to the exuberance of the guests – but perhaps most importantly, to the pop of support for the Museum and its Art School.
“This was by far the most successful fundraiser in Museum history,” said Dalia Stiller, Chairman of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, “with a wonderfully attractive and fun crowd. It was amazing to see some of our most important, longtime Museum donors alongside our community’s young, up-and-coming philanthropists.”
Marc & Jennifer Bell were the honorary co-chairs of the Gala, which was co-chaired by Terry & Shelly Adelman and Nancy & Martin Mallinger. The After Party was co-chaired by Leslie & Scott Farber, Mhegan & Andrew Kravit, Kristen & Michael Majhess, and Marzena & Greg Silpe. Special guests in attendance also included Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie, Highland Beach Mayor Bernard Featherman, Boca Raton Deputy Mayor Robert Weinroth, Director of the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh Eric Shiner, filmmaker Lana Jokel, West Palm Beach artists Norman Sunshine and John Raimondi, Scott Singer, Jeremy Rogers, Marc Leder, Paul & Mary Ann Milhaus, Dalia Stiller, Jody & Martin Grass, and Terry & Shelly Adelman. Event sponsors Bulgari and Boca Magazine were also on-hand to support the evening’s activities.
Following the recognition of Charlotte & Norman Codo, who were given the Museum’s Jean Spence Award for their longstanding and passionate commitment to the institution, the crowd enjoyed a raffle by Bulgari. Then international renowned artist, Michael Israel, wowed the audience by painting several of his critical acclaimed large-scale canvasses of pop culture icons Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, and more live on the stage — doing the unthinkable, sending his paintings (retailing at upwards of $75,000 each) to auction, proceeds being the reason for the most successful event to-date.
After the paintings were auctioned, the crowd enjoyed a high-energy disco set spun by DJ Jellybean Benitez.
By the end of the evening, the event raised $575,000 for the Museum and its Art School on Palmetto Park Road. In addition to supporting the Museum, donors signed pledges to help upgrade the School’s facilities and expand a new studio in time for this summer’s classes and camp program. With each donation to the Art School, supporters had the opportunity to “Sign the Soup Can” and add their name to an eight-foot tall poster in the style of one of Warhol’s most famous works – a delightful way to add a little Pop to the evening’s show of support for visual art in our community.