World-renowned artist Beverly Pepper has been commissioned to integrate public art into the constructed landscape within the new Ralph Klein Park (formerly Shepard Wetlands Legacy Park).
A large-scale land art sculpture, Hawk Hill Calgary Sentinels, by artist Beverly Pepper captures the physical strength and timelessness of the Shepard wetlands and is in the final days of completion at Ralph Klein Park.
Well-known for her unique ability to create works that seemingly exist both in and outside of historic time, Sentinels explores issues of time, place and materials. Pepper's monoliths and pyramids stand as a historical marker, designating the wetlands as an important part of Calgary's legacy.
Making a mural for Ralph Klein Park
Ralph Klein Park opened to the public on June 18, 2011. As a site partner, the Public Art Program invited attendees to participate in the making of a community mural. Lead artist Eveline Kolijn sourced natural materials including grasses and shrubs for participants to add to the wetland mural.
Beverly Pepper's prolific career has spanned over forty years. Educated at the Pratt institute and the Art Students League of New York, she has worked in cast iron, bronze, steel, stainless steel, stone and earth. Trained as a commercial artist before shifting to painting and sculpture, she studied in Paris with Fernand Leger and is well-known for her environmental earth constructions such as the Amphisculpture series. She has exhibited internationally, including one-person shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Ohio's Columbus Museum of Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Since 1951 she has divided her time between homes and studios in New York and Todi, Italy. Beverly's work can be seen in many public and private art collections around the world, including Vienna, Toronto, Barcelona, Paris, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.
"The monoliths at Ralph Klein Legacy Park are meant to herald the uniqueness of the wetlands. Like my plazas and gardens, and the Ralph Klein Park itself, I believe my work offers a place for reflection and contemplative thought within the context of active urban environments," Pepper says.
For more on Beverly Pepper, visit http://www.beverlypepper.net.
Check out this video of the project and
an interview with Beverly Pepper (starting at 2:55).
The Capital Project
The Ralph Klein Environmental Education Centre and Legacy Park is currently being developed as part of the larger Shepard Wetlands Stormwater Diversion Project located at 68th St. and 114th Ave. in southeast Calgary. The park will be comprised of approximately 75 acres, and is designed so that all elements of the built environment (including the facilities, activities and amenities such as public art) are seamlessly integrated into the landscape. The park's design will be inspired by the forms of the Canadian Prairies, with natural systems exposed to illustrate the interconnections between humanity and the environment.
Utilities and Environmental Protection Public Art Plan
This public art opportunity is one of eight permanent public art projects outlined in the Utilities and Environmental Protection Public Art Plan.
The first of its kind in North America, the UEP Public Art Plan is founded on the principle that public art, in collaboration with other disciplines, can create remarkable places that encourage sustainability and stewardship of the environment.
This document, a key component of the overall Master Plan being developed by the Public Art Program, capitalizes on The City's excellent environmental record as steward of the Bow River and as the projects are implemented, will position Calgary as an imaginative and inspired city with regard to public art, infrastructure and environmental stewardship.