Friday, February 3, 2023

Hometown Hero: Marlene Pomeranz

From docent to president, this longtime volunteer has been an anchor of the Boca Raton Museum of Art

There are fans of the Boca Raton Museum of Art, and then there is Marlene Pomeranz.

Since volunteering as a docent with the museum in 1984, she has borne witness to its seismic growth—in its permanent collection, in its prestige, in its sheer size—through a bounty of roles and responsibilities. When Pomeranz began her nearly 40-year commitment to the institution, it still operated out of the squat building on Palmetto Park Road that now houses the museum’s Art School.

Through the years, and into a new century and a new building anchoring the north end of Mizner Park, Pomeranz graduated to assistant to the gift shop manager, to patron, to trustee board member, to executive vice president, to president. She earned much of her art education through history courses at the Art School, and she remains involved with the Friends auxiliary. She is proud to continue to support the museum as an honorary board member, as this year’s unveiling of a new sculpture garden, a renovated exterior and an exhibition premiere of global interest (“Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru”) continue to enhance its cachet.

ON THE MUSEUM IN THE MID-1980S: It was a warm, welcoming organization. We were like a family. … And it grew, through the efforts of a great many people who I worked with.

ON THE EARLY DAYS IN MIZNER: Our first major show was Picasso. We put up a tent for a week; it ended up being longer than a week. We had a red carpet, and a grand opening, and the tent was attached to the building, so you could go in and out of the show, as well as a beautiful, formal sit-down dinner. Of course, the show was so well-received.

ON HER COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: We’ve become an integral part of the community. We’ve always tried to be a community resource, bringing children here when the arts programs were cut. We had docent groups that would go the schools and bring art to the children. We have buses underwritten by donors to bring children to the museum. We always tried to be a community resource, even within the gated communities in town. We have more corporations in town, so we try to be proactive in getting them involved in the museum. Now we have so many new buildings growing in the community. It’s more people moving into Boca, and getting them hopefully involved in the museum. It takes time. You’re always introducing yourself.

ON THE MUSEUM’S LEGACY: Considering the size and breadth and scope compared to other museums inside the state of Florida, we’ve been very lucky to keep pace with the Norton. We just look forward to bigger and better, and building bigger and better, and the city growing. We’re constantly working … and that’s nice. I don’t think I could have stuck with it so many years if I didn’t get so much joy and pleasure and education from this experience.

This story is from the November/December 2021 issue of Boca magazine. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine.

John Thomason
John Thomason
As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

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