Royal Palm Beach Zoners Review Public Art Proposal

A rendering of how Xan Padron’s art will look in the Cultural Center.

Based on an ordinance passed in 2018, the Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission has a new hat to wear as the Public Art Advisory Board.

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the board heard its first proposal sitting as the Public Art Advisory Board that involved art to be commissioned and displayed at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center.

The village’s public art professional provided a presentation on the locations, artist and samples of work that is slated for display in the Cultural Center, located at 151 Civic Center Way.

“There is a public art requirement for the Cultural Center,” Mario Lopez Pisani explained. “The ordinance came into effect, and the Cultural Center underwent expansion and improvements in 2019, with vertical construction costs of $2,467,723. The village has allocated $30,000 as its budget, which satisfies the requirement of one percent of production costs. Currently, the center does not exhibit any works of art.”

The artwork proposed is a time lapse series by internationally renowned, New York-based photographer Xan Padron. The commissioned work would feature photographs representing the community itself.

Similar time lapse works of Padron’s are on display in Auckland, New Zealand and Venice, California, and were included in Pisani’s presentation to provide a clear understanding of the type of work expected.

“The village aims to create an original art commission from a leading photographer in the art world,” Pisani explained. “Captivating composition can highlight striking backgrounds when he shoots and shows the diversity of individuals in a community. For this reason, we aim to highlight Royal Palm Beach and speak to the dignity inherent to this place we call home.”

Pisani said that the process involves Padron finding the perfect spot to set up his camera, which he then uses to capture members of the community at random as they stroll past the selected backdrop. The repetitive activity of capturing passersby in the community is the anchor of Padron’s work.

“His conceptual framework can be deeply profound. The inner life of the community is captured through individuals stitched together to form a whole,” Pisani said. “These ideas carry a beautiful aesthetic resonance but also, they speak to the meaning of community. As we live individually, a sense of social connection and sense of belonging is important to build a strong bond with our neighbors.”

The proposal for the purchase of a 30-inch-by-57-inch “We the People” framed time lapse photograph and a second 40-inch-by-60-inch time lapse photograph — both by Xan Padron — received full support from the board.

In other business:

• During the Local Planning Agency meeting, both requests by Urban Design Studio regarding the Tuttle Royale project were approved. The first moves 10 tracts of land into the recently adopted mixed use social center (MXS) designation, while the second included the rezoning of five parcels from general commercial to MXS.

• The Timbercreek Townhomes & Villas Association received approval to update the paint scheme at the community located at 100 Sparrow Drive.

• A site plan modification allowing the expansion of Royal Palm Auto Spa at 11503 Southern Blvd was approved. This will allow the existing automobile service station to accommodate taller vehicles, including larger trucks.

• National Express Car Wash at 151 S. State Road 7 was given board approval to move forward with their request to add an express, self-service section to the existing facility.

• Resident Stuart Titley requested a variance to keep the existing tiki hut on his property on Waterway Road with a reduced rear setback. Titley said the structure was in place long before he purchased the property in 2014, and he provided letters of support from neighbors. The motion to approve the variance request passed 3-2.