Together with his wife, art curator Meredith Brice, Stephen came to Il Palmerino on a European sabbatical that lasted several months and began with an art residency in Paris. He arrived here during an uncommonly nice January and took advantage of his stay to get to know Florence and its treasures very well. Beyond routine visits to the Uffizi and the Accademia Gallery, Stephen’s stay included visits the city's historic libraries and several of its less celebrated institutions. His experience was that of the contemporary art traveller who wanders through time and follows many different clues, letting himself be guided by signs and sensations that cannot be defined by a specific code, but are visible and comprehensible solely to the beholder.
We remember his end-of-day conversations filled with discoveries, and the exchanges he would often have with other guests, but above all, we cherish his complicity with the place. Upon returning home, Stephen would send us the drawings he had made at Il Palmerino. He also had several copies printed for sale to help support our work. This generous gesture made it possible to offer several of his prints as ‘perks’ for donors, during our crowd-funding campaign for the refurbishment of the association’s multipurpose room. Stephen has returned to Italy several times for art publishing workshops and exhibitions in Sicily and Lombardy, and although we haven’t yet had the opportunity to work together again, we look forward to possible joint ventures in the future.