Beverly Pepper
Sculpture, Abstraction, Steel & Environment

A Retrospective by the Internationally Renowned Sculptor

On Sunday, October 12th, The Crucible welcomed celebrated artist Beverly Pepper to the Bay Area for a lively lecture, a Meet-the-Artist reception, and a live bronze pour of one of her sculptures. Coming from Italy to present at The Crucible, Beverly Pepper is internationally respected as an abstract metal sculptor whose work is informed by the forms and forces of the natural world.

The evening began with the Meet-the-Artist reception, drawing art supporters from across the Bay Area. The furnace roared with the preparation for the bronze pour as guests mingled, chatted and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres prepared by Jacqueline Burns Catering, and sipped drinks donated by the Four Vines Winery.

As the sun set, The Crucible’s foundry team turned up the heat on the furnace holding a crucible full of molten bronze, ready to be transformed into a work of art. At 6:15pm, the team gave the ready signal, and guests clustered around the foundry area to witness the first major bronze pour in the Crucible’s Oakland facility. The furnace used for the pour is one of two donated by the art department at the University of California at Berkeley. These furnaces and the massive overhead crane are some of the key components in the build out of a world-class foundry at The Crucible facility. With the continued generous support from our members and donors The Crucible will complete its industrial foundry, enabling high-end casting commissions and vocational training opportunities.

As guests watched eagerly, the molten metal began to flow, illuminating the night with a lambent glow. Beverly stood front and center, watching as her piece became reality. The pour culminated with Executive Director Michael Sturtz welcoming Beverly to the Bay Area, and thanking the guests for their support of The Crucible. As the metal cooled in the mold, the audience moved to the lecture hall for the main feature of the evening, a retrospective lecture by Beverly.

The lecture was the second in The Crucible’s Legends of Sculpture lecture series, a lively program featuring world-renowned artists who present their work and answer questions about the processes and techniques they use to produce their art. Beverly showed slides illuminating her work from the beginning of her career to present day. Over 150 members of the community came to hear her speak, and Beverly’s engaging and warm presentation offered insight and advice from over 40 years of her very active career as an artist.

With anecdotes about the early days working in the steel industry, to inside views about the thought processes, planning, creative thinking and fabrication challenges inherent in creating large-scale public art, Beverly held the audience enthralled with slides from locations throughout the world where her monumental, site-specific works enhance public squares, parks, sculpture gardens and busy walkways.

Beverly’s outdoor environmental projects are a collaboration with the landscape and are on permanent display around the globe. Art – engaged in solving environmental problems – has been central to her work throughout her lifetime. Her huge incisive sculptures in heavy materials like cast iron or flashing steel and large environmental installations have made her one of the most prominent artists of contemporary art in the world.

After the lecture, Beverly led the audience back to the foundry area, where she grabbed a hammer and broke open the mold, revealing the freshly cast bronze piece she designed for the event. Crucible staff will complete the finishing and mounting of the work, which will be on display in The Crucible’s gallery through mid-January. The piece will be auctioned at The Crucible’s 5th Anniversary event on January 16th, 2004, with the proceeds benefiting the organization’s programs and foundry build out.

This Event is Co-Sponsored by:
The LEF Foundation
The International Sculpture Center
California College of the Arts
Special Thanks to the following event supporters:
Four Vines Winery
The Claremont Resort & Spa
A New Leaf Gallery
The San Francisco Foundation

And, of course, many thanks to our Individual Sponsors and Host Commitee

Gold Sponsors

Donald and Doris Fisher
Aracon Bohm
Phil and Jessica Tagami

Silver Sponsors

Ann Hatch & Paul Discoe
Bryan Hord & Kate Rutter
Laney & Pasha Thornton

Host Committee

Bruce Beasley
Ann Hatch & Paul Discoe
Jim & Mary Ann Melchert
Albert Paley
Jim & Barbara Rutherford
Phil & Jessica Tagami
Laney & Pasha Thornton

The Board and staff of The Crucible thank everyone who participated in and attended the event for being a part of the Legends of Sculpture Program. We also extend a special thank you to Beverly for her generosity and spirit in being a Legends of Sculpture lecturer.