PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- "My dad was a wild and crazy guy," said Jesse Berg about his father, Eric Berg. "He started making carvings and that really sort of captured his heart. And so, he got jobs making sculptures and then he did a good job and was reliable so that he developed a reputation."
Eric Berg was best known for his bronze animal sculptures of a warthog and gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo, a pig at the Reading Terminal Market, a dragon at Drexel University, a grizzly bear at Fitler Square, and many more.
"My dad passed away in 2020 from a heart disease," said Jesse Berg. "And for us, it meant slowly kind of figuring out, okay, what does his legacy mean and what can we do?"
The Berg family hosted a celebration of life in his neighborhood, where guests could attend and share stories of the late great artist. Berg's granddaughter, Sophie, began doing archival work and relaunched a website, BergBronze.com.
But still, a studio full of completed pieces of art remained dormant.
Jesse Berg partnered with his friend and neighbor, Bhavisha Patel, who is a founding member of the Naudain Art Collaborative. Named after a street in Fitler Square, the group of artists are mostly neighbors with a mutual respect for one another.
Patel is known for turning her own home into a temporary art exhibit every few months. She calls it, "Art and the Ageless Gardens."
Together, they created a limited-time exhibit featuring Eric Berg and his bronze animal sculptures.
"It's great to have his legacy live on and it's amazing to share it," said Patel. "It feels like I'm living in a museum."
The exhibit will be open to the general public on Sunday, April 30th from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. After that, guests can visit by appointment only until June 4th, 2023.
"My dad would be patting me on the back. He'd be like, I can't believe you put in this effort," said Jesse Berg. "He'd thank me for sharing his work some more with the public because he loved nothing more than when the public got to enjoy his work."