Parco Beverly Pepper: Linking Art and Nature in Todi
When asked to comment on the twenty works she’d donated to Todi, the ninety-seven year old sculptor, Beverly Pepper, had said, “Many of my monumental works reach to the sky, seeking a tie with the landscape..”
I reflect on those words now as I look at my photos of inauguration day, September 14, 2020 of Todi’s Beverly Pepper Parco. The four massive cor-ten steel sculptures seemed to be tickled by the umbrella pines, their branches spreading out and shading the sculptures and visitors…..
Beverly Pepper could not be present at the inauguration, but her son John was there and paid tribute to his mother…..
…as did the mayor before cutting the symbolic ribbon at the entrance to the Parco:
Beverly Pepper had hoped that the sculptures would sensitize and stimulate the Parco visitors: “I would like them to accompany those who look at them to a new sensibility, a perception of space that reaches the observer through material, Nature and history.”
Beverly called the park “a huge door with many possibilities to those who wish to open it. I feel I have given the town a new energy; I feel I have transmitted courage and vitality.”
After the inauguration ceremony, our group entered that “huge door,” starting our walk at one of the monolithic columns….
…and then walking downhill under the Mediterranean pine trees, just outside the medieval walls. We paused now and then to view the sculptures, sitting on the stone benches placed near them: each bench almost seemed to embrace the nearby sculpture:
Beverly Pepper had designed those benches and I wonder if she’d been visualizing the hills surrounding her beloved Todi when she’d sketched rounded backs for those benches?
Other visitors were walking the trail through the Parco, sitting and chatting on the benches near the sculptures and photographing their children interacting with the sculptures
Beverly would have been pleased to see such scenes.
As we walked, I noted the benches near each sculpture and how the sculptures were placed as if “a tie to the landscape,” like the one seemingly pointing at the section of medieval wall – and at the bench:
Another in steel reflected the trees and sky around it so that looking at the sculpture, the viewer focussed on the natural environment, too. Another Pepper “tie to the landscape”:
Our walk meandered down past medieval walls, a medieval church tower…
….and ended just as we approached the glorious Renaissance masterpiece, the 16th-c domed church, Tempio di Santa Maria della Consolazione.
Twenty sculptural masterpieces of a contemporary American artist leading us through Nature to Todi’s Renaissance masterpiece.
Beverly, just as you had wished.
(Beverly Pepper died February 5, 2020 in her home in Todi)
Read more about Beverly Pepper and her links to Todi
Read about – and see – Beverly Pepper masterpieces in Todi