OAKLAND (KCBS)— A privately-owned, $20 million artist studio complex in West Oakland is being gifted to the Oakland Museum of California by a world-renowned, local sculptor.

The announcement for the Bruce Beasley Sculpture Center, was made at a site near the West Oakland BART station on Thursday. The space at Third and Lewis, which takes up two blocks near the station, is owned by Beasley, an artist who’s lived there since 1962.

It’s filled with the 75-year-old’s steel-ring Rondo pieces and acrylic sculptures and has transformed over a decade into indoor and outdoor studios, gardens and exhibition spaces.

Beasely said it took a long time for him to make it this way.

“I moved to West Oakland when I got out of Berkeley in 1962, poor as a church mouse and this was the cheapest part of town and I rented a small little tin shed to make my first studio,” he said.

He bought and converted junkyards and abandoned buildings over the years. Oakland Museum of California Director and CEO, Lori Fogarty called the bequest “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” for the museum.

“This is the amazing thing about it. For the local community we really envision this being an important community hub. Bruce has been very active in West Oakland his whole working life and we want to continue that,” she said.

His gift not only includes his property and his artwork, but financial support for future programs.

“I felt a responsibility to give back to the field that I have had such a joy in being involved in.” he said.

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