The South Prescott neighborhood is home to numerous artists, musicians, and other creative souls working in a variety of often surprising mediums. One of the best-known is Bruce Beasley, a world-renowned sculptor with numerous buildings and a sculpture garden sprinkled throughout confines of South Prescott. Mr. Beasley recently made an unprecedented bequest to the Oakland Museum that establishes South Prescott as an artistic anchor with a rosy future.
Here is an excerpt from an article published in The Mercury News:
Internationally known sculptor Bruce Beasley of West Oakland has made the unusual plan to bequeath his two-block cluster of studios and sculpture gardens — plus many of his own massive abstract works, personal archives of his illustrious career and an endowment for future sculpture-related events and programs — to the Oakland Museum of California.
The gift; said to be unprecedented by a living artist; is valued at about $20 million, making it the largest single private gift in the museum’s 45-year history. Beasley and museum officials (revealed) details of the plan during a reception at the artist’s Lewis Street studios — someday to be called the Bruce Beasley Sculpture Center — situated in an off-the-radar neighborhood tucked in the shadow of Oakland’s main U.S. Post Office.
Beasley says the relationship with the Oakland museum is a “logical marriage,” considering his deep ties to Oakland where he’s lived, worked as a community activist, and created massive sculptures since bursting into the art world in 1962 at the height of the abstract sculpture movement.
“I wanted to do something to give back to the field and help young sculptors get started,” Beasley said. “Sculpture is the most difficult of all the visual arts for a variety of reasons.”
“Being a sculptor,” he says, “truly takes the strongest calling.”
His vision is specific in its intent — the bequest requires the center be strictly dedicated to sculpture, and Beasley hopes it will serve as a resource for local and international artists. But other details will be left up to museum officials for things like community programs, exhibition space, classes and talks by visiting scholars.