Caponi Art Park Medieval Fair 2011
If you are from the south east metro region of the twin cities you have to be at least slightly familiar with the Caponi Art Park http://www.caponiartpark.org .
If you are not familiar, let me bring you up to speed.
Caponi Art Park provides opportunities for reflective experiences as well as active participation in a variety of programs. The Art Park welcomes over 15,000 visitors each year. Visitors enjoy a quiet and peaceful atmosphere as they walk the trails and take in the art. The Art Park’s most prominent features include miles of wooded walking trails, a one-of-a-kind Sculpture Garden and the Theater in the Woods outdoor amphitheater.
A 60-acre sculpture in itself, the Art Park serves as a backdrop to cultural programs and educational offerings. Programs include the Summer Performance Series, Family Fun Tuesdays, Shakespeare Festival, Medieval Fair, Poets in the Park and Guided Tours.
This park is the life work of Antonio Caponi.
Caponi was born in 1921 in Pretare, Italy, a tiny village in the Appennine Mountains on the Adriatic coast. The rugged surroundings had a deep impact on him and a profound influence on his work. The story of these early years is told in Caponi’s lyrical book, Voice from the Mountains (Nodin Press 2010). Caponi came to Minnesota in 1946 to study at the Walker Art Center School and later at the University of Minnesota where he earned his M.Ed. As a student Caponi exhibited his work alongside his teachers and the Minneapolis Institute of Art purchased two of his sculptures.
While a student, Caponi made the first of his many contributions to the field of art. He rediscovered how to cast metal using the Lost-Wax Process by reading Benvenuto Cellini’s autobiography in its original medieval Italian. Once a tightly held secret, Caponi successfully introduced the process to the community for others to use. Consequently, he built the first metal foundry in a school while teaching at Macalester College. An example of the Lost-Wax Process can be found at Caponi Art Park in the sculpture Pompeii.
So in our midst we have this artist, this Renaissance man and it is he and his organization that put on the annual Medieval Fair. The Medieval Fair is an annual educational living-history program presented by the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) Barony of Nordskogen chapter that brings the Middle Ages to life. SCA is an international nonprofit devoted to the study of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The Barony of Nordskogen chapter is the active chapter of the SCA in the Twin Cities and surrounding area. Its members make education about the Middle Ages a priority and share their knowledge through historically accurate re-creations, demonstrations and classes.
At this event there were authentic pavilions on display in a Medieval Village as SCA members in period dress presented educational demonstrations and activities to the public, which included rapier and armored combat, music and dance, weaponry and armorers, storytelling Bards, jugglers, cooking, period games, heraldry, bone carving, fiber arts, and other arts and skills.
While this particular event is not as big as the annual Renaissance Festival in Shakopee MN, it was certainly a great way to spend the afternoon. So if you have not been to Caponi Art Park, get out to the park, it is a wonderful regional treasure. And, put on your list for next fall to get out to the Caponi Art Park Medieval Fair.
Learn more about Anthony Caponi