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Full Bloom

By Carolina Buia

Photography by Capehart Photography

02.07.19

Cynthia Kanai does right by Ann Norton’s legacy as the new CEO of the Sculpture Garden.

Ann Norton was a former sculptor, art educator and children’s book author. Today, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, set on 2 acres, is a destination for history, botany and art enthusiasts alike. We took a stroll in the garden with new CEO Cynthia Kanai to garner a glimpse of what’s to come.

What is so magical about this patch of Earth?
Personally, this garden brings me peace and reflection. I grew up on a farm and enjoyed that same sense of serenity as a child. We have about the 250 different species of plants. I’m determined to learn about each one.

You and Ann Norton both share a background in education, why was this important?
As I study Ann’s life, I’ve learned she was forward-thinking. I also like to think big. I was fortunate to have a 25-year career at Palm Beach Day Academy. I’m excited to promote our outdoor classroom, our new reflection pool and opening our grounds to 5,000 Title 1 students.

What project is on your shortlist?
I am excited that our garden pathways have been recently improved to accommodate wheelchairs. We’re working with groups within our community that can now enjoy our beautiful urban sanctuary. Engaging and supporting all members of our community is part of Ann Norton’s legacy.

Describe a perfect Norton afternoon?
Start with an overview tour from one of our experienced docents; see the main gallery and Ann’s immense sculptures. One afternoon is never enough!