Caponi Art Park

Eagan Travel Blog

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Anthony Caponi

This is my first time exploring the Twin Cities art culture.

I was searching online the museums and galleries in the area when I came across Caponi Art Park. There was a photo of a piece by Anothony Caponi - the resident artist and park founder - based on Pompeii that caught my attention and became an obession of mine to see.

Caponi Art Park is located in Eagan, MN. exit 97 A off of 35E.  I passed by it the first time.  The entrance was smaller than I expected and there was not a large sign indicating that it was there. you really need to be aware of the park to find it. If I was not looing for it specifically I would have passed by it without a second thought. 

Caponi Art Park grew from the passion of Italian American Anthony Caponi after he arrived in Minnesota as a young WWII army vet.

Pompeii
He built his home - which is still his residence within the park boundries - by himself and used the 60 acres to explore his personal artistic aesthetic and as a way to teach his students from a nearby university to connect with nature and create art from that experience. 

The park as it is now has been open to the public since the late 1980's and feature a beautifully serene sculptural garden and outdoor theatre along with some wide park trails and open grassy nooks, perfect for a stroll and light picnic. 

I eagerly walked toward the sculpture garden. I wasn't expecting to see a house and later learned that this was the house that the artist himself built in the 1950's and still resides in. I stuck to the walking paths and examined every piece of sculpture. My favorite was def the Pompeii piece and the remains of "tree of Life" totem like sculpture that was carved from a rotting tree.

Pompeii Detail
Mr. Caponi had filled the interior with cement to make it stable but according to the sculpture guide carpenter ants were already eating away at it from the inside. the piece eventually disintegrated leaving the cement core as the only evidence of its existence. 

While walking along a path I saw an older stoutish man working hard with a shovel. He was planting some grass seed and protecting it with a plastic covering. I didn't want to sneak up on him and scare him, but I did anyway. I tried to call out a few times but was not able to get his attention until I was much closer. He was Mr. Caponi. A soft spoken man in his 90's still working as hard as ever. He asked me where I was from. I said New Jersey and then he informed me with a smile that there were lots of Italians in New Jersey. lol I had to agree, sometimes it seems like everyone in NJ has a little bit of italian in their background.

 

We talked briefly about ownership and authorship of one's work. One might own his work but the piece is still his. He compared his work with his children. They have grown and moved on, but they are still his children. 

After my encounter with the artist I walked over to the other side of the park and strolled through the trails and found the outdoor open theatre. Sat on a bench and thought about my family. The peacefulness of the park helped me disconenct from the current chaos of my life and reflect on what is most important.  

It was getting close to closing time - 7 pm daily - and I needed to find a hotel near tomorrow's destination, Walker Art Center. :)

Important info

Hours are 9am - 7pm Tues - Sun   from May to October. 

The park is free but donations are helpful and appreciated.

Please visit the webpage and plann a visit

http://www.caponiartpark.org/

esterrene says:
It was! I couldn't believe my luck with meeting the artist! :)
Posted on: Sep 14, 2012
RJ82 says:
Sounds like a good day
Posted on: Sep 14, 2012
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Anthony Caponi
Anthony Caponi
Pompeii
Pompeii
Pompeii Detail
Pompeii Detail
Artist studio
Artist studio
The lake
The lake
me :)
me :)
this piece was in response to the …
this piece was in response to the…
Walking path
Walking path
theatre area
theatre area
Piece made from WWII helmets, same…
Piece made from WWII helmets, sam…
Tree of Life
Tree of Life
Pompeii Detail
Pompeii Detail
Brother and sister - this piece wa…
Brother and sister - this piece w…
Sculptural path with pompeii and B…
Sculptural path with pompeii and …
pompeii detail
pompeii detail
Eagan Sights & Attractions review
Caponi Art Park
Caponi Art Park is the creation of Artist and WWII Vet Anthony Caponi. Mr. Caponi created the park originally as an escape from the hectic world … read entire review
Eagan
photo by: petrarchanprincess