The Coastal Star

Boca Raton: Artists chosen, dates set for tunnel mural work

By Steve Plunkett

Four artists who decorated walls at Red Reef Park last fall have won return engagements to create more murals on the entrances to Spanish River Park’s tunnels under State Road A1A.

They will be joined by two artists, both from Boca Raton, who were unneeded alternates for the Red Reef project — Agata Ren and Gregory Dirr.

The tunnels are the second mural project for the city’s Art in Public Places Advisory Board, which chose the artists March 8 and approved their final renderings March 20. There were 20 applicants, and City Council member Andrea O’Rourke, a stalwart supporter of public art, said “they were all wonderful.”

Joining Dirr and Ren from the first go-round will be Ivan Roque of Miami, Craig McInnis of West Palm Beach, Tom D’Auria of Lake Worth and Peter Agardy of Boca Raton. The approved artwork, which will be on display at Spanish River Park for an April 6 event called Springfest, ranges from realistic to abstract and features South Florida flora and fauna and even a trident-wielding god of the sea.

The Red Reef project drew 47 applications, more than double this time, but advisory board chairman Irvin Lippman was not worried about the falloff in interest.

“It’s a far more complex project. The three tunnels are not so accessible … and they’re quite far apart,” said Lippman, who is also executive director of the Boca Raton Museum of Art.

D’Auria and Dirr will tackle the central of the three tunnels during the weeks of April 8 and 15. Then McInnis and Roque will work on the north tunnel the weeks of April 22 and 29, followed by Agardy and Ren on the south tunnel the weeks of May 6 and 13.

Work on the murals is allowed only from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; no work can be done on the weekends. A “mural reveal” event will take place May 18.

Lippman said the fact that the Red Reef artists applied again to do the Spanish River project was “very positive.”

“They took a maintenance wall and turned it into a point of interest and conversation,” he said of the Red Reef work. 

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