For nearly 50 years, Ralph Plescia has been making art and studying obscure passages from the Bible, extracting images and interpretations that he describes as forgotten stories, especially relating to Heavenly Mother and Eve.
In the process he completely transformed a pair of unassuming empty buildings on the south side of Salt Lake City into a walk-in sculpture garden. Huge, larger-than life statues of Eve and the serpent in the garden, the lion of Judah, dragons, Heavenly Mother and other figures emerge from the every floor. Some of these works are crammed in between antiques and junk left over from the buildings’ earlier incarnations as a barber shop and auto repair shop.
In addition to a self-built, brightly lit dome on top of the building, Plescia dug down below the basement by hand, digging deep enough to reach the water table, in order to create a permanent pond from which concrete statues of desperate souls seem to emerge.
If you knock on the door in the afternoons on Fridays, Mr Plescia will give you a personal tour of his creation, which is still very much a work in progress (he’s currently working on some large paintings based on the stations of the cross), and you can ask him yourself about what inspired him to devote his life to creating these amazing and unusual installations.
Know Before You Go
Mr Plescia is happy to receive visitors for tours. Visiting hours: 11:00 am -4:00 Friday & Sunday or you can set up an appointment.