Lynne Chandler Novick has lived all over the world — Boston, Switzerland, New Jersey — but she always comes home to Boca Raton.
Novick, who has been president of the Royal Palm Improvement Association for eight years, also sells homes in the luxury division at Lang Realty and owns an art studio off 20th Street in Boca Raton.
“I just love the community so much,” she says of her neighborhood, Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club. “I wanted to get involved.”
Novick’s involvement in the community, where she lives in a Mediterranean-style home with her husband, Murray, has taken her far.
She also has served on Boca Raton’s Downtown Advisory Board since 2007 and helped lead an initiative to prevent the owners of the Boca Raton Resort & Club from building a 62-unit condominium project across from Royal Palm’s entrance on Camino Real. Opponents of the project said it would be overwhelm the street.
“It’s one of the most photographed streets in America and we were able to preserve its history and beauty,” Novick says.
County Commissioner Steve Abrams said Novick is one of the stalwarts on his countywide advisory committee.
“Usually, when a citizen gets involved in an issue, you never see them again,” once it’s resolved, Abrams said. “With Lynne, it sparked her interest.”
Royal Palm remains at the center of her focus.
The neighborhood, built in 1959, is continually evolving, Novick says. There still are some of the smaller, original homes, but many have given way to larger residences. Still, the community marked its 50th anniversary by adding new, black iron street signs. Next on Novick’s agenda: She would love to see coordinating streetlights.
The community, which offers the services of a small town, including a security force of 20, runs smoothly thanks to its board of governors, she says.
Novick also is happy that construction has begun on a downtown project that will make Palmetto Park Road more pedestrian-friendly, and will link Royal Palm Place with Mizner Park.
“It’s an honor to serve and to create an active pedestrian-friendly downtown,” she says.
When she is not working with downtown, real estate and her Royal Palm association, Novick dedicates herself to her other passion: art.
It started as a class in beginning drawing she received as a gift in the 1990s at the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s school.
Little did she know she had paint in her veins.
“I fell in love with pastels, then watercolor, then oils,” she says.
Now, Novick is the teacher, offering classes to groups of five to 10 students in oil, watercolor and pastels at her 20th Street Art Studio and Gallery.
“We have such wonderful camaraderie,” she says. “I love to paint with people.”
The front wall of her gallery is testament to that love, and it is adorned with a range of her Impressionistic still lifes, portraits and landscapes.
It also is a testament to her enthusiasm for life: “My imperative is that I’m curious about trying new things.”
— Scott Simmons
Q: Where did you grow up and go to school? How do you think that influenced you?
A: I grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, Colorado, Connecticut and Boston. It has helped make me very adaptable. I’m like a chameleon. I can move anywhere.
Q: What are some of the highlights of your art career?
A: My exhibitions in New Jersey and my many sales.The highlights include interest from many galleries, including the buyer at Wally Findlay in Palm Beach. That was very flattering.
Q: How do you juggle your art career with your job as president of the Royal Palm Improvement Association?
A: I enjoy being active in all my interests and endeavors. It comes very easily to me. It’s love of the community, and giving back to the community and pursuing a passion.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: All over. Anybody or anything can inspire. My husband always encourages me. My inspiration? I find it in wanting to be active. My inspiration is in waking up and having a purpose and my husband’s encouragement. My husband is my biggest fan. Everybody should have a purpose in life, whether it’s a passion or a job. If I didn’t have it [a purpose], I’d find one.
Q: How did you choose to make your home in Boca Raton.
A: My husband and I rented a house in Royal Palm for the winter and loved it so much we bought our own.
Q: What is your favorite part about living in Royal Palm?
A: I love the proximity to downtown Boca, and being able to participate in the redevelopment of the city, and the pedestrian walkway [which will link downtown’s Royal Palm Place with Mizner Park].
We love the beach.
And the security force is by far the best in Florida. We have no crime in here. Our officers check on our older residents. … Most officers are former New York City police officers. We couldn’t have a better force.
Q: What book are you reading now?
A: Eat Pray and Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia [by Elizabeth Gilbert], about a woman who finds herself after her husband’s death.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote that inspires your decisions?
A: “It’s the things in life that we don’t do or try that we regret, never the things we do.”
Q: Have you had mentors in your life?
A: I had fabulous teachers in college. I had a boss in Boston working in the television business who was a wonderful mentor to me, who inspired me to stay in the media business. She was wonderful — Lucy Salhany. She ended up being president of Paramount Television.
And, of course, my wonderful husband of 20 years.
Q: What makes you laugh?
A: My husband is the funniest man I have ever known. I love making fun of myself. Self-deprecation is a great asset. It’s important for all of us to enjoy a great laugh.