Art and nature lovers gathered among Ann Norton’s monumental sculptures on April 7, when 100 of Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens’ highest-level donors toasted a special “Evening in the Gardens.”
The fifth annual Gardens Conservancy cocktail reception provided a platform to present the Ann Norton Award for Philanthropy, extended to individuals who advance the ideals set forth with Ann Norton’s vision for the gardens to serve as her legacy to the community. The 2018 award was presented to Wellington residents Becky and David Gochman. The evening was chaired by Susan Keenan with honorary chairs Amanda and Charles Schumacher.
“It is with deep appreciation and admiration that the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens Board of Trustees extends the Ann Norton Award for Philanthropy to Becky and David Gochman,” said Frances Fisher, ANSG board chair and founder of the Gardens Conservancy. “We are grateful for Becky and David’s outstanding leadership and commitment to the gardens and the manner in which they creatively weave their passion for the arts, education and environment to enrich the experiences offered here.”
Launched in 2014, the Gardens Conservancy is a multi-category membership and stewardship program that honors Ann Norton’s legacy by cultivating creative community partnerships that enhance educational programs and cultural awareness of the gardens, and by implementing exciting horticultural projects to maintain the garden as a vibrant feature of the community.
Annual Gardens Conservancy membership is available starting at a $500 donation, and donors receive complimentary admission to the gardens, art openings, an invitation to the conservancy’s annual event and discounted tickets to special events.
“Thank you all for this honor and recognition,” Becky Gochman said. “Although we are rather new to the Palm Beaches, after visiting the garden a few times and observing the delight of the school children visiting here, we knew it was a great fit for our family. We love the monumental scale of Ann’s work, the educational aspects and the direction that Frances and Roger are taking this jewel of a community space. We hope to be part of the growth of this garden for many years to come.”
Gochman serves on ANSG’s board of trustees and education committee. In addition, the Gochmans funded the restoration of Ann Norton’s Gateway 3, one of the monumental brick sculptures showcased in the gardens. Gochman currently serves on the board of the Washington International Horse Show and is one of the founders of the Central Park Horse Show in New York City. She is an accomplished equestrian who competes regularly in the nation’s premier horse shows and has an avid interest in organic gardening and farm-to-table foods.
President and CEO Roger Ward thanked the season’s host committee chairs, including Karyn Lamb, Frances and Jeff Fisher, Audrey and Martin Gruss, Christine Aylward, Gayle and Paul Gross, and Lourdes and Pepe Fanjul Jr. In addition, Ward recognized the gardens’ corporate supporters, including Wilmington Trust, Florida Crystals, Iberia Bank, Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Fair, Capehart Photography, FPL, Garden of Life, Gunster, Key Private Bank, Lewis Longman & Walker, PNC Bank and Sentient Jet.
During the reception, Fisher also announced plans for an outdoor classroom space, thanks to funding from the Batchelor Foundation and a generous gift from Becky and David Gochman. The project will begin construction over the summer and will include not only the outdoor classroom area, but also the refurbishment of one of the existing reflecting pools, the addition of a new student entry near Palm Beach Day Academy and the enhancement of the rare plant collection to help re-establish the historical biological relationship intended in the original gardens’ mission statement. The replenishment program has been continuously supported by the Gentleman of the Gardens and will include planting around the new outdoor classroom space.
Located at 253 Barcelona Road in West Palm Beach, the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance fees are free for members, $15 for non-member adults, $10 for seniors (age 65 and older), $7 for students and children under five are free. Gallery and garden exhibition talks are available on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The gardens are also available for private events and are closed on major holidays. For conservancy membership information, or general information about the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, visit www.ansg.org or call (561) 832-5328.