There's plenty of money around these parts, and damned little of it makes its way into the hands of local artists. That's the bottom line on patronage. But no one around here makes more scrilla trickle down to our peeps than Elayne and Marvin Mordes, collectors of avant-garde work. Passionately contemporary, Elayne is the couple's more public face, the effervescent hands on the operation; Marvin, a highly regarded neurologist, is the quiet presence in the background. Their home base is an 11,000-square-foot former dental laboratory on the shores of Lake Mangonia, in West Palm Beach, half of it now the private museum Whitespace; the other, their home. In the four years since it opened, Whitespace has employed scores of local young and emerging artists as curators, handlers, photographers, and assistants of all sorts and introduced their work to the public through an annual cycle of shows — especially the Outside the Box biennials, where the art encircles the building and spills over onto the lawns along the lake shore. More than a few locals have their work on sale in the Whitespace gift shop; a more select number have seen their pieces end up in the couple's loft-like living area — a nice place to be when the Mordes' sophisticated friends stop by.

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