Announcing the 2014 Artists-in-Residence!

It’s that time of the year again – artists are converging here in rural Minnesota to live and create at Franconia Sculpture Park.  This year we were able to award 10 competitive fellowships with funding support to emerging and mid-career artists from across the country.  These Fellowship Artists will be in residence at Franconia for three weeks to three months over the course of this year completing ambitious, large-scale artwork for exhibition in the 30-acre sculpture park.  While at Franconia artists receive room and board, access to equipment and tools, studio space, mentoring, technical assistance, and all the advantages of collaboration in a focused artist community.

2014 FSP/Jerome Fellowship Artists
Nathan Bennett and Meredith Nickie, NYC
Torkwase Dyson, NYC
Eric Forman, NYC
Jeffrey Kalstrom, MN
Donald Myrhe and Christina Ridolfi, MN
Kambui Olujimi, NYC

2014 Open Studio Fellowship Artists
Mike Calway-Fagen, IN
Chris Manzione, PA
Samantha Persons, IL
Risa Puno, NYC

Here’s a sneak peek at the work to come from these talented Fellowship Artists: 

Meredith Nickie and Nathan Bennett proposed Primitive Accumulation. They will construct a primitive pit kiln and fire ceramic objects that will amass along the perimeter.  The works’ title serves as both narrative play and social commentary on the ethics of labor and surplus value.  Throughout the process, they will invite the Franconia community to participate in the creation of the project – culminating in a collective display of participation and exchange.

Torkwase Dyson proposed Site on Site, a performative installation that conflates ideas of landscape architecture, minimal abstraction, and drawing to re-imagine built environments that have shaped the black experience.



Eric Forman will be working on Radioscape this summer, an interactive, kinetic sound sculpture built from old motorized car radio antennas and a responsive ever-changing field of audio feedback.



Jeffrey Kalstrom proposed to build The House of the Dog this summer. He will fabricate a small house in the shape of a dogs head and the interior will be set up as an artist’s studio. On select days he will work in the studio performing the role of an eccentric artist who obsessively paints pictures of dogs.

Kalstrom - Proposed Work _The House of the Dog_ cardboard model, 20x20x16in 2013 copy

Donald Myhre and Christina Ridolfi proposed Animated Statue, a 30 foot tall, animated replica of a bronze sculpture from the Minneapolis Institute of Art, scanned, enlarged, and machined using digital fabrication techniques.


Kambui Olujimi proposed Niagra, a 20 by 20 foot dam built between two trees, constructed in conversation with the cofferdam built to stop the American Falls in 1969.

Kombui2 Kombui

Mike Calway-Fagen proposes to make a pyramidal construction of 6 antique taxidermic whitetail deer (does and bucks) purchased from Minnesotan hunter’s living rooms, titled Dyramid.


Chris Manzione’s working title for his sculpture is Dazzle. The form will be made with a steel armature and plywood exterior. Chris will then decorate the sculpture with automotive paint using the “dazzle” technique employed by British war ships in the first world war to camouflage themselves against German U-boats. Chris will also use Maximum Disruptive Contrast to cause the illusion of false edges within the sculpture, making the form difficult for an observer to perceive as a whole. The pipe on top is a dimensionalized hand drawing from Chris’ sketch books.



 Samantha Persons work has yet to be titled, but she proposes to build an abandoned ranger tower in the nearby forest. Visitors will be invited to spend time in the tower and leave a story on the interior walls.



Risa Puno proposed Infinite Play, a set of jungle gym monkey bars in the shape of a twisted cylinder or Mobius strip.



In addition to our Fellowship Artist program, we support career-bound artists through our Intern Artist program. It is an opportunity for undergraduate or graduate student, as well as emerging artists to gain professional experience and build expertise in their emerging professional careers.  Working alongside peers and mid-career artists, the Intern Artist Program creates a dynamic setting for artists to grow, learn, and mature.   This year 13 individuals are participating in the program and will be in residence for 2-3 months.

2014 Intern Artists
Sarah Fetterman, CA
Nick Grasso, OR
Sarah Langsam, NJ
Jane Meyer, MN
Cassi Rebman, MN
Dylan Redford, CA
Reid Sancken, IL
Hannah Sawyer, NY
Richelle Soper, NY
Carson Tarnasky, CAN
Nelson Tsui, CA
Chloe Windsor, UK
Anthony Zappa, MN

For the last two weeks of July, Franconia hosts an additional 12 artists who participate in our Hot Metal Residency. The Hot Metal Residency Program offers artists and interns the opportunity to experiment with pattern-making and mold-making, exchange ideas and techniques, and exhibit finished work in a highly visible public park. Franconia transforms the outdoor studio into a temporary foundry for two-weeks and through a collaborative effort, the Hot Metal Residency culminates in a pour with two furnaces melting approximately 8,000lbs of iron. 

2014 Hot Metal Artists
Allison Baker, RI
Scott Berels, MI
Jason Brown, TN
Yousif Del Valle, MN
William Fillmore, CA
Harry Gold, NY
Leekyung Kang, South Korea
Rian Kerrane, CO
Tamsie Ringler, MN

2014 Hot Metal Interns
Sarah Dorau, IL
Holly Kelly, MA
Woody Stauffer, MN

Next time you visit the park, make sure to stop at the outdoor studio to visit with the artists-in-residence and see all the new work in progress. To see an archived list of Franconia Fellowship Artists, Intern Artists, and Hot Metal Artists and Interns, visit our Meet the Artists page.

Franconia’s Artist Fellowship Program is made possible through generous support provided by the Jerome Foundation, Windgate Charitable Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. The Intern Artist Program is made possible through generous lead support provided by the Woodbury Foundation, with additional support provided by the Sage Cleveland Foundation and RBC Wealth Management.


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