Posted on 22 May 2013 | No responses
Kevin Dartt, NY Open Studio Artist is fast approaching completion of his concrete tree, all at the mercy of the lovely Minnesota weather (note the sarcasm here). His initial 3-d model has taken a few twists and turns but so far, the language of the computer is transferring nicely into the language of sculpture.
One can see glimpse the tree growing from a few pieces he has assembled. The red tint really pops against the green that has finally come. It’s been fun to watch the different configurations Kevin has made.
After weeks of making molds, fabricating the seed pod, building armatures and casting the concrete branches the sculpture is finally coming to fruition.
Just a quick hiatus and then back to assemble and install the entire piece in June! When it is done the tree will never die and the seed pod will be an added night light in the park.
Posted on 4 May 2013 | No responses
Meet our first 2013 Intern Artists. Unfortunately making art has been slightly curtailed by bad weather so to pass the time, we are getting to know them a little more.
ANDREA GRIMM – McDade, TEXAS
Before coming to Franconia Andrea was working as an artist assistant, bartender, babysitter and wood shop technician. She loves Taco Tuesday and Two Steppin’ and her influences right now are David Nash and the interactions between nature and society.
Favorite Food: SUGAR
Favorite Music: Texas Country!!
Favorite Tool: ChainsawGrinder
JULIA SISSON, Omaha, NEBRASKA
Before this internship Julia had just moved to Minneapolis, was coaching a highschool track and field team and was working as a professional transitionist. She can split an apple with her bare hands and likes coffee in her oatmeal. She loves hurdling over various objects, is influenced by Marina Abramovic and has an impressive collection of spandex.
Favorite Food: TOAST since 2010
Favorite Music: Classic Soul
Favorite Tool: Die Grinders
HUGH BRYANT, Greensboro, NORTH CAROLINA
Hugh was a barrista before coming here to Franconia. His influences are Edwardo Chillida and the smell of burning motor oil. He is also a self proclaimed photoshop nerd.
Favorite Food: Sweet Potato Curry
Favorite Music: MotownPostRock
Favorite Tool: Torch
Posted on 22 April 2013 | No responses
April sees snow blanketing the weird sculptural mounds out in the park. The artists have been braving the cold, knowing spring is fast approaching.
Kevin Dartt, NY our first 2013 Open Studio Artist has started with a bang. Making molds for casting concrete leaves a good layer of dirt and dust everyday. His plans are ambitious and he can’t wait to start working outside!
Meet our first round of 2013 Intern Artists!
Andrea Grimm from Texas, Hugh Bryant from North Carolina, Hannah Thompson from Pennsylvania and Julia Sisson from Nebraska spent the their first week furiously organizing the house, de installing to make way for new sculptures and being awesome! We’re all very excited to see new art appear on the work pad.
To finish, we would like to pay tribute to Evening by James Payne. It has been a sunset staple of the park since 2007 and we are sad to see it go. But in true Franconia fashion, what better way to pay tribute then a good ole’ burnin! Thanks James for all the work that went into creating that unique light sensation and thank you for those that braved the 50 ft. flames with garden hoses.
Posted on 1 September 2012 | 1 response
Fall is quickly approaching and the leaf-change season is so near. Whoa. The summer has flown by, more than 30 NEW sculptures have been created, artists from around the world (China, England, Taiwan, Italy, Ireland, and more!) have been in residence at the park, and we are getting ready for the Art & Artists Celebration on 9/22/12. Check out the schedule for the day here, mark it on your calendars – it’s bound to be a fantastic event and we’d love to see all of our friends!
Franconia’s artists have all kinds of skills!!
Did you know that Franconia has a variety of opportunities for artists including a Fellowship Program and an Intern Artist Program?! Fellows receive a stipend and are selected by a panel, and Interns are selected based on their portfolio and potential. Interns are at the park for a designated length of time (April to June, June to August, or August to November). They dedicate 5 hours of their day to ‘park work’ which can be anything from assisting a Fellowship Artist to stuffing envelopes for an event invitation. The rest of their time here is spent making sculpture!
Now introducing (drumroll…) the new Intern Artists!!
Elana Webb coming to you straight from Lewis & Clark College via Milwaukee, WI
Special Talent: Finger nail painting (this talent has already been tested and she is a pro!)
Best Friend: Louise Trueheart
Elana arrived with these first impressions, “Franconia, undoubtedly, is one of those sacred expanses of stuff. Stuff of steel, some bulky, some lean, good meals, wood feelers, men and women or burly (none clean), all sweet, makin’ things.”
Richard Bloom hailing from the desert heat of Tempe, AZ
Favorite Food: Pepperoni Pizza
Special Talent: Richard can make a fantastic monkey noise, it’s like living in the jungle ya’ll
Richard’s first impression is, “Franconia is an amazing and wonderful place. Even while doing work that I have already done, I am experiencing it in a new way that I don’t think could happen elsewhere. This place is one of a kind and I look forward to the fun learning experiences it will bring.”
Dane Winkler is our east coast star outta SUNY Plattsburgh via Sand Lake, NY (basically)
Favorite Food: Toast (?!?!)
Favorite Material: Sound
Upon arrival, Dane’s got this to say about Franconia, “After calling Franconia and letting them know I would be a day earlier than I thought, I reflected on my trip from NY and felt strong nostalgia for longer trips past. Entering the park, I noticed a large crane that was for sale and wondered what was wrong with it. I drove up to the house and walked around (my new temporary home) and no one was inside, so I decided to take a tour. I looked for sculptures I knew of and compared them in my mind to the photos I had seen. I thought about people I knew who had made some of the work I saw. The sky was filled with impressive rolling clouds and my nerves calmed a bit as I talked to some new friends while a work was being de-installed. I was asking myself if I felt the way I thought I would, and if it looked the same way I had pictured. I saw familiar bumper stickers on the vehicles next to mine that said ‘START SEEING SCULPTURE!’ and I substituted a word in my head and thought, ‘START MAKING SCULPTURE!’ and it made me smile.”
Ronda Phipps, Woman of Steel, brings her southern charm all the way from Knoxville, TN
Favorite Material: Steel (duh…)
Birthday: October 26
Ronda sums up her first impressions exclaiming, “Finally, no ceilings!”
Happy Labor Day weekend!
Farewell – Carissa
Sending you our best from Franconia Sculpture Park where the work never stops and the skys never end!
Posted on 21 August 2012 | 2 responses
As the exhibition at the park is constantly in flux, so is the community of artists and staff living in the big white house. Last week our dinner table overflowed into the living room and out onto the porch with 35+ people eating, laughing, sharing, and learning. This week, we’ve shrunk to a group of 12!
Movin’ on, Movin’ up, Movin’ in, Movin’ out! The summer Intern Artists are heading back to where they came from – their sculptures are installed, or nearing completion, and they are packing their bags and saying goodbyes. The fall Intern Artists have arrived and are getting to know the park (Don’t worry! You’ll be introduced soon…). The ‘shift change’ as we refer to it, is always a very emotional time around the park because for the past two months the interns, fellows, and staff have worked together, eaten together, played together, and grown together. We joke that it’s like a summer camp for adults because you are spending an intense amount of time with a small group of people and you become acquainted with each others’ quirks, mannerisms, and habits very quickly. It is amazing how fond you can become of a person in such a short time!
AND remarkable how much you can learn about making sculpture so quickly and how much confidence you can gain in your personal artistic career. Lu Xu (one of our Intern Artists who arrived at Franconia on June 15 and is getting ready to head back to Aberdeen, SD to finish her BFA) recently said to me, “After Franconia, I’m not afraid of anything.” The energy that buzzes around the park is full of similar sentiment and it is during the ‘shift change’ that I can feel it the most because everyone is furiously working on their ambitious projects and reminiscing about the schemes and dreams they’ve encountered along the way.
Franconia <3′s Bridget Beck! While the Intern Artists are all heading back to school to finish their degrees, Bridget Beck, longtime artist-in-residence and infamous blog writer at Franconia, is getting packed up to start graduate school at UCLA next month! We are going to miss Bridget’s mentorship, motivation, and creativity but very excited to see the sculptures she’ll cook up in L.A.! We had a send-off party on Saturday and sang our goodbyes with a massive Hollywood inspired cake. No tears yet, but she isn’t leaving until Sunday…
With Bridget leaving , we are making a few changes to the blog that you’ll notice. Taking inspiration from the weekly ‘Sculpture Scoop’ that Bridget diligently provided, we’ll continue to fill you in on the goings-on at Franconia each week. We’re taking a collective approach to additional topic specific posts that will also be posted weekly. Those contributing to the blog will include myself (oh, I don’t think we’ve yet been introduced! Hi! I’m Carissa, the Education and Program Coordinator at Franconia), other staff, artists, and guests. Stay tuned and please feel free to comment and take part in the discussion!
Sending my best to you from Franconia Sculpture Park, Where Pigs Fly!
Posted on 8 August 2012 | Comments Off
Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending. ~Lazurus Long
Some Sculpture Park Scoop: Guy is like force of nature while grinding and welding his sculpture’s attachment hardware, Iron Pour breakfast included 80 sausages and 80 eggs, lunch was barbeque and German potato salad, dinner was a dream come true- thanks cooks (and a shout out to Carissa’s mom and Savi for helping out on the cooking front)!, Tamsie made a print of Franconia, Bobby has three pieces to attach and was the forklift captain this past weekend, did you know that pigs can fly? (our new t-shirts), the lemonade stand was hopping, Taylor & Claire & Andrew & Lu & Danielle— you are all amazing!!, Carissa wrangled the wild crowds with seeming ease and ground scratch molds til the moon came out with the intern artists, Jesse made an indent in the earth with his new piece, Mary Jane did mountains of grinding and chasing (p.s. your video is A+), Peter’s sign looks great, Liz headed up the community scratch block making!, Araan had some surly tubes, Paul headed the U of M crew, Theresa met success as did all the iron artists!- congrats, there are lots of new iron pieces headed to the outside iron gallery, Claire and I traded ninja moves on the dance floor, people were snapping tons of pictures of molten materials, Julia was back to help (good to see you), the savage band played on, molds were opened, so many memories were made, I added lots of workshop materials to my sculpture on wheels, Jonas is headed to Montana, cheers to all the volunteers that helped Franconia Sculpture Park mark another huge event victory, Loretta and Mindy worked the scratch block and t-shirt tent (yip!!), Franconia received a Target 2012 Arts & Culture in Schools Grant (cheers Mindy and co!), John was riding on the back of a flying pig??? soaring over the iron pour making sure they were making sure (steady now… steady…), so many people at the park this weekend!- come back again soon for another swing/walk/picnic/romp and SO so so so SO much more!!!!!!!!!!
Restless Architecture- the waiting of Low Lands. I came across this article from the Arch Daily, written by Vanessa Quirk. I read the first paragraph and was blown away by James Ramsey. Here is the first paragraph- “Usually when one studies architecture, one does architecture. But that’s just not enough for some people. James Ramsey, most famous for the sci-fi-like renderings of the Low Line, an underground park which has captured the imagination of thousands, is one of those people. An architecture grad from Yale University, Ramsey went on to be a satellite engineer for NASA, before coming back to architecture and starting up his own design studio, Raad Studio. Oh yeah, and along the way he came up with a fiberoptic technology that would allow you to bring natural light (and thus grow plants) underground.” !! Yeah, that’s what I thought… Read his interview in the article! He discusses urban archeology, looking up and also looking down, sleeping and ideas, the movie The Flight of the Navigator, wading through bureaucracy and I think captures a restless sort of architecture that I strive to touch with my sculpture in the future.
Last Bridget Beck Blog- I wrote the very first Franconia Blog and I’ve been writing this blog for over two and a half years. I have had the opportunity to show you pictures of what really goes on at Franconia Sculpture Park… the inside scoop. I’ve shared art related stories that have sparked my interest. I have also been able to meet and document 100s of artists at all stages of their sculpture making at Franconia (take a look through the past blog entries… do you see yourself in past pictures?). I have had the privilege of communicating my own journey at the sculpture park as their resident artist. And, I have SO looked forward to this weekly conversation with you—all of YOU! Thank you so much for reading- for caring about what goes on at this fantastic art making space. It makes me sad to think that I will have to check back into the blog to see what the inside scoop is instead of always being a part of it while I begin graduate school at UCLA. But, it is with great joy that I look forward to seeing Franconia continue to grow and am thankful that all I will have to do is click the blog link and will be transported inside its doors. It helped me stay focused on my goals and sort through all sort s of art related questions during my work week. It made me feel connected with Franconia even while sitting in my cube in front of the computer. And, that mattered to me more than you might know. Goodbyes are tough. So Hello! Hello to the next 100 years- because I’ll see you around – I’m sure of it. (I’m living until I’m 133)
Change is slow than fast and then slow then fast. I often look at people in the midst of great change… a move… a birth… a milestone… and have thought- I am so stagnant. But, the truth is that you can’t leap off of a space without a ledge to stand on. Sometimes just finding a space where you feel supported in creating art takes a while to locate. Sometimes you have all the tools but need new experiences to draw from to progress. Sometimes you really need a truck to haul your sculpture materials and have to create a sculpture to make that happen . And, sometimes you need the time to find the courage to believe that you can when people tell you that you can’t. Then, there are times when you have too many projects and are moving across the country and starting new sculptures in a new environment in just a few weeks time. Slow (for me equals years)… then fastasyoucananddonotstop. I imagine that this will happen throughout my life again and again. Where are you right now? Too much to juggle? Having to wait and plan?
Courageous Imperfection- I have a new artist statement which includes courageous imperfection. That is the sort of thing I want to be a part of. I am a sculptor that builds imperfectly (yet strong… not to worry). I am realizing that there is a different kind of beauty when you begin with the idea of imperfection. Imperfection is real life. It is me and it’s you. I have found that it can also be believable when representing the fantastic. The courageous part- well all the best art work is courageous don’t you think?
-aRe Verse. This my final blog poem. Thanks to all the sculptor/poets who have contributed through the years. I love poetry.
(From my second Blog Post ever for Franconia) Where do sculpture ideas come from and why do they matter? Brain abstraction- how does it work? One of my favorite series is the Charlie Rose Brain Series- http://www.charlierose.com/view/collection/10702 I’d like to understand why I am a creative and imaginative person. It seems like the answers to how an idea (especially an abstract idea) forms and then how that can be translated to something else (say a sculpture) -have yet to be completely understood. What is it that makes my eyes wild when I am excited? What makes me want to group objects together and want this antenna here and that bird house there? What are the processes that brain goes through and eventually how is it that ideas can be described in two or three dimensions? Also, the state of creativity… does it matter? Creativity as static vs. creativity as action? And,,, thanks be that when people from the Renaissance began to place more importance on their independence and began to value things like freedom and creativity- their communities began to put a value on Creativity. And then comes the Age of Enlightenment, and people began to think more about the imagination through serious critical questioning. As for – why do sculpture ideas matter? I’d like to hear what you think. Matters to me. Sculpture makes my life full, rich, and these sculptures make it possible for me to have just the right kind of swings and places for my feet to fly.
Franconia Sculpture Park- where sculpture meets sky, dueces are wild and I got the best emergening artist start possible!
Start Seeing Sculpture- over and out
Posted on 31 July 2012 | Comments Off
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”- Marianne Williamson
Some Sculpture Park Scoop: Guy is grinding hundreds of metal brackets, Toma is turning horns into iron, Miles has started with some geometric shapes in Styrofoam, Jesse is back for the iron pour from Colorado, Theresa is working on a mold for symmetric sculpture, Araan’s got Taylor’s help mixing sand and for his rolling mold, Taylor is turning a bouquet of grasses into metal soon, Peter is casting spiral shapes, Claire is scheming in cement and steel cable, Danielle decided on an orientation of her geared and implied machine, Carissa finished an iron piece for a show in Hudson, Lu has a door to her space and is thinking about creating iron feet, Andrew has finished his straw bale and cement sculpture- congrats!, Bobby’s sewing in blue and pink and preparing an iron mold, Tamsie is leading the charge, Iron Artists everywhere-cheers to you all!, I’ve changed out and balanced the tires (thanks MH!) for my traveling sculpture, the public television show MN Oringinal filmed one of my art workshops at the Good Samaritan Center in Stillwater, we have new iron pour shirts that feature a winged pig, there are A LOT of vegetables in the fridge, Liz helped the community design scratch blocks (you can come for another pre-iron pour scratch block workshop this Thursday night), Jonas has created the best birthday present for his niece, Robin’s singing thistlethistle, my undergrad English Professor and advisor Tim Jones stopped by with his family, iron radiators are being smashed up to melt down in the iron furnace, ThE IrOn PoUr Is ThIs SaTuRdAy, OH YEAH!!—one more time….THE IRON POUR IS THIS SATURDAY!!!, Raina stopped by the park (good to see ya!) check out her collaborative sculpture Larger than Life Lite Bright on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFqwL74twSQ and So SO SO so much more!!!
6 people I’d love to meet for a moment. 1. Eric Kandel- neurologist and Columbia professor and is regularly featured on Charlie Roses series on understanding the brain (he also always wears a bow tie) and I believe to understand art making is to understand the brain working at its finest and highest capacity- I have lots of questions for him, 2. Camille Claudel- a French Sculptor whose work moves me more than her more famous teacher/mentor Rodin (whom she also had an intimate relationship with) and was put in a mental institution later in life although many didn’t think she was metally ill..she destroyed most of her sculpture… but let me tell you that her Clotho sculpture is stunning and full of more movement and life (at the end of life) than anything Rodin sculpted- I would love to know what she was thinking after making all of that sculpture sitting confined to her room (sent there by her brother), 3. Charlie Rose- Now he is a person who has had the best conversations with so many people. I imagine that our conversation would be stilted and I would try my best to ask about the most important things he has learned from the artists, politicians, and world leaders he has interviewed on his show… all the while smiling awkwardly with my star struck agape mouth and forgetting what I planned to ask, 4. My Mother at age 10- what would she be like at that age? What would we talk about? What would I learn about her that I didn’t already know? I imagine we’d have ice cream cones and talk about what we wanted from our future, 5. My Father at age 10- same thing… except that I can sort of imagine my mom at that age but cannot wrap my head around my dad being that age… I’d want to ask him all about the things he likes and dislikes… and find out his perspective of the world at this age… was he happy? Was he adventurous? Was he as compassionate about others and social justice as he is today or did that come later? Would I feel like I knew this little boy? 6. Emily Dickenson- She is such a mystery to me. I’d like to know if her greatness would be apparent at first glance… Did she know that her poetry was pushing serious boundaries? Why did she keep her poetry a secret hidden under her bed until her death? I mean she was so prolific… would her life have been significantly different if she grew up in this time period… ? Who would you like to meet? What would you ask them?
-aRe Verse. The first poem is mine and the second was written by Jesse Bercowetz.
McKnight Foundation – their viewpoint. The McKnight Foundation is a Minnesota based multi-issue family foundation that provides serious support to artists in MN. They have recently released a framework for their mission and values heading into the next few years. You can read the article here. They support not only the arts but also regional economic and community development, the environment, neuroscience, international crop research, and early literacy. As far as the arts go they state, “We support an environment in which artists are valued leaders in our community, with access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.” Like the article from the McKnight Foundation- Franconia Sculpture Park also supports artists as leaders in the community. Franconia provides a place where art making and local visitors to the park cannot help but to start to have a conversation about art’s impact and role.
Don’t forget to pack the camera, a picnic and the kids for the iron pour this Saturday. If you haven’t been to an iron pour here is what you can expect: radiators melted down to a fiery lava poured into molds (you can even make a mold to hold the molten iron) which are crafted by artists from all over the country into works of art and music made and amplified by musicians wearing great outfits… who use all sort of found objects to create music like you’ve never heard… Plus good food and great company. See you there!
Franconia Sculpture Park- where sculpture meets sky, deuces are wild and we turn radiators into fine art right in front of you.
Start Seeing Sculpture- over and out
Posted on 26 July 2012 | Comments Off
“In an ideal world, records would be filed in record stores by title rather than by artist, as they are in video stores. I think it’s better to identify with the work rather than the people who make the work. You can put your faith in a piece of work, but not in a group of people you don’t know.” ~ Will Oldham
Some Sculpture Park Scoop: Aaron’s fiberglass tree is whole and stands tall and is waiting to be lit as he head to LARP lands, Araan is working on a mold of… yes… a tube!, Tamsie and co have arrived for the iron pour, Lourdes finished her hummingbird land art sculpture- Congrats! Andrew’s bales are getting coats of cement, Lu has a floor and a bed in her shack, Taylor’s sculpture is free standing, Claire’s got molds for her cement and bungee sculpture, Jonas has another large log, the iron artists have arrived, Danielle has started staining her large wooden gears, this Saturday Tropical Zone Orchestra is playing at Franconia as a part of our 3D Concert Series (come out and join us from 5-9p), I have been facilitating workshop where we have been painting birdhouses, doors, windows, recording train memories, and making birdseed balls (three more workshops and that portion of the Locomotive Sculpture will be done), the weather has been a bit cooler, tents are up and so SO so SO much more.
Choice Paralysis- Freedom of choice is a hallmark of living in a capitalist democracy. But, when does the number of options start to interfere with success and choosing altogether? I watched a Ted Talks episode on just this and found it to be very enlightening http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO6XEQIsCoM&feature=relmfu. In the talk Barry Schultz describes the loss of the pleasant surprise. He speaks about how 100+ varieties of nearly every item in the grocery store makes choosing more difficult to do. What if you choose wrong? What then? Plus, can you be pleasantly surprised if the best choice is one of the hundred staring you in the face.. if you only had choosen it… ? With more choices the individual’s expectation to choose the right choice increases. I have found that deciding between lots of good choices or paths for art making can leave an artist to ponder the next step for quite a long time instead of taking that time to begin one of those good choices. At some of the art making workshops I’m holding, I have been hesitant to tell the participants any direction whatsoever in what or how to paint the items I’ve brought in. And, with all the possibilities people have been finding it difficult to make the first mark. But, without specific directions or sparse direction from me—they have been pleasantly surprised. I think when you choose to make a mark (out of all the possible marks in the universe) and let the expectation (met from all the possible marks in the universe) go… the mark made can still be a pleasant surprise. Heavy expectations negate the surprise found from a depth of a million possibilities. Do you agree?
Vintage Film of Artists at Work. Take a look this collection footage- collected by Marina Galperina from Flavorwire. The videos show Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, John Baldessari, Jean- Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring (at the Walker), Marlene Dumas and Yayoi Kusama.
-aRe Verse. The first is a poem by Jesse Bercowetz and the second is mine.
Sculpture on a timeline and sculpture as a timeline… It’s interesting to see what sculptures were significant when looking at a timeline like this sculpture timeline. But is almost more fascinating to see sculpture as a timeline like this sculpture as a documentation of street art from the 1970 to today or this Online AIDS Memorial Quilt. What interests you more? Do you like art that embodies history or would you rather spend time looking at the history of art? Do you think that most people have a preference of one or the other?
There is a lot going on at the park right now with the iron artists and the Community Collaborative Iron Pour on the 4th. Come and be part of art history and the direct casting of metal sculptures. Cast metal artists from around the world converge on FSP for a two-week workshop at the end of July. On August 4th, we invite the public to be part of our cast metal artist workshop and create (or collaborate on) your own small sculptures. A nominal fee is charged to cover expenses. Molds are $25, $40, and $75. For more information: click here or email email@example.com. As our tradition upholds, Savage Aural Hotbed performs at 12:30 , 2:30, and 4:00pm . There are a limited number of educational grants to cover the expense if you cannot afford the fee. There will be two community scratch mold workshops on Sunday July 29th 1-4pm and Thursday August 2nd 5-9pm.
Franconia Sculpture Park- where sculpture meets sky, deuces are wild and expectations don’t limit our unlimited possibilities.
Start Seeing Sculpture- over and out
Posted on 17 July 2012 | Comments Off
Art is thought to be inspirational. I think of it as aspirational. It sings what cannot be said. ~Anna Deavere Smith
Some Sculpture Park Scoop: We need your help with our Kickstarter project… time is running out http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1405850678/are-you-down-tribute-to-artist-michael-richards-fr?ref=users, Guy is preparing pieces via computer projection for his curving wall sculpture, Justin has installed his sculpture and it got a lot of dancing action at our last 3D Concert, Jia Jen had her dance performance complete with a soprano saxophone, Claire did the work pad shuffle and is all set to torch, Danielle is cutting off bearings and building a gear that is larger than her and she had a birthday!, Lu has a shack!/space and is starting to furnish it, Taylor has been cutting out steel pieces, Andrew has a pile of straw waiting for bags of cement, Aaron ghost tree’s halves are being put back together, Liz is making a wax sculpture for a pour in New Jersey, Jonas is working on a huge chunk of log, I have started the Locomotive Sculpture’s frame, we are getting ready for the iron artists, Carissa is checking and finalizing the scheduling for the iron pour, Mindy and Loretta and John and Robin are keeping the sculpture park running smoothly, we were featured on the radio station KFAI- http://www.prx.org/pieces/81570-franconia-sculpture-park#description and So so SO SO much more.
Patronage- Samuel Johnson defined a patron as “one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and, when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help” (from Wikipedia). Here is a great article by Anna Deavere Smith about patronage and the arts. I like the way Johnson describes it… that struggle an artist goes through while they are creating… how the patron looks on unconcerned and then encumbers the artist with help (encumber is defined as too large or heavy for someone). I have yet to have a patron waiting for me on the shore with something large and heavy… but I know that those who have provided the continued support to Franconia over the years- have also been there for me. As I transition towards UCLA, I get a little misty eyed thinking about how lucky I’ve been to be part of the artistic community here. It is time for me to take the next step with my sculpture and move away toward many unknown adventures. I know that I may never be in a position to significantly contribute financially to a place so instrumental in my development as an artist. But, should I be… I would love to join those that continue to create an opportunity for sculptors to grow at Franconia- as it reaches the shore… reaches new ground in wait that there will be someone there (someone who has watched it struggle for life in the water) to encumber it with more than it can hope to hold.
-aRe Verse. The first poem is mine and the second is a poem written by Jesse Bercowetz. Jesse is a sculptor from NY who pushes the limits of his materials (like this sculpture he built up at Franconia- http://franconia.org/artistpages/jbercowetz/jbercowetz.html) and writes poetry like wise waterfalls. Thanks for your continued support of the Franconia Blog Jesse!
What I’ve learned from the Locomotive Sculpture workshops so far… Before I started all the workshops with the elderly care and independent living communities I was afraid and anxious that this project would somehow be a failure. I thought maybe my ambition really would get the best of me. I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to accommodate all the facilities’ needs. There is a wide range of abilities ranging from some individuals that are dealing with challenges like dementia and those that are master wood workers. The truth is that the workshops have not meet everyone’s needs but nevertheless the project as a whole (bulletin boards, blog, events, workshops) has been a colossal success already in my eyes. Each of the facilities coordinators have gone above and beyond in so many ways. I find that most people (staff, volunteers and residents) who are participating or following this sculptures progress are interested. They are engaged in the building of this sculpture and find it a unique part of their regular schedule. I’ve also learned that sometimes when we get older we do need more help to do the things that we had once done with precision. And, that letting go and making a bit of a mess while having fun creating art can be incredibly pleasurable.
It has been so humid and thick outside. We are drinking water by the gallon. Have you ever been up to the sculpture park and been inspired to create your own sculpture? If so what did you make? We’d love to share some pictures on the blog. Read. Read to your kids and thanks for reading this blog. I really enjoy writing it. Soon the blog will have to be taken over by another fine Franconia artist as I am heading to grad school in Los Angeles.
Franconia Sculpture Park- where sculpture meets sky, deuces are wild and iron pours like honey.
Start Seeing Sculpture- over and out
Posted on 11 July 2012 | Comments Off
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”~ Tolstoy
Some Sculpture Park Scoop: Justin is adding extra textures to the heads that will border his dance floor sculpture, Aaron has made serious progress with his fiberglass ‘ghost’ tree sculpture (Henry standing guard), Carissa is cutting metal like no-one’s business, Taylor is putting in the hours and planning to flip and cap her existing steel pipes (love those new Benjamin Franklin glasses) , Claire is bending beds with bungees and talking of sculpture park decathlons, Lu is molding partial heads, Guy has started his curved airy modular wall- welcome!, Danielle is going all gears in, John is back, I’ve been preparing for Locomotive workshops, it has been a bit cooler, logs are everywhere, get the raspberries before there gone, tomatoes and all produce are getting bigger, Jonas is moving everything around… again, Carissa and I have GLOWaBOUT materials and misc. all wrapped up, and so so SO so much more!!!
Higgs- an invisible mass making molasses. The weight and mass of an object or material certainly has a lot to do with sculpture. Many heavy materials from stone to steel are used for large scale sculpture. I’d venture to say that if you combined Franconia’s over 95 sculptures the resulting weight would be 100’s of tons. So, when the physics community came out this week with substantial evidence that a Higgs or Higgs like particles were in fact real and that it explained how atoms and electrons had mass- I was thrilled. This elusive particle might also have something to do with super symmetry, string theory, Einstein’s hope for a single theory to explain everything and how the universe began. To find out more about this Higgs like particle check out this interview- http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12443.
3D Symposium This Thursday night (tomorrow!!!) With Aaron Dysart, MN and Guy Snover, VT. The evening’s events will include a presentation by the featured resident artists and a freewheeling discussion between artists, critics, philosophers, poets, and you! Presentations begin at 8pm sharp. This is a FREE event! For more information, please call 651-257-6668. This should be a great time. If you’re an artist and you feel the pull to connect to the larger MN artist community, this is a good opportunity to talk about those big questions and ask other artists questions that you’ve been thinking about. Why does Aaron modify and recreate natural elements? How did Guy create the modular pieces of his large sculpture which he is assembling at Franconia? What are some of their other art aspirations? How did they get to where they are? Why sculpture? What might they have learned about creating visual art that we might also need to know? Have they ever felt like quitting? How did they persevere? To find out the answers- you will have to come to the sculpture park this Thursday night.
A Might to Delight. What absolutely delights you? I delight in the joy my interactive sculptures bring people. I really do. I often struggle to finish large sculptures. The mental and physical drain outlasts the completion of the art. Even two weeks after building Poetry Studio, I feel drained. But, when I see the kids and the adults letting their guard down just a little bit, walking up the stairs with a touch of bewilderment in their eyes and a smile on their face— it makes me smile and I give myself a little pep talk “keep going… onward…gofightwin.”
-aRe Verse. The first poem is written by Jesse Bercowetz and the second is mine.
There is a concert up at Franconia this Saturday with the band Jon Wayne and the Pain this Saturday. Join us at the Earthen Amphitheatre! I’ll be helping lead some workshops where we will be painting steel flowers, designing and painting patterns on wood, steel and fabric, painting a full sized door and creating multiple hanging elements (with chimes and tiny bottles with secrets) by the end of this weekend. Lots to do… The weather is great at the park right now. I can’t wait to see you out there. Cheers to trying to be more patient (I need this right now). And, cheers to the sculptors that make Franconia as rich and full as it is.