How Sculpture Learns

What would you do given a box of matches, a toy firetruck, a reflector, a small rock, a tire, a plastic cellphone, a 1.7 oz bottle of alcohol, and a single strand of hair? Our spring residents have the answer!

The White House is filling up with artists from across the country: so far we have Minnesota’s very own Pete Driessen, Monroe Isenberg, John McMenamin, Tony Zappa, and Jane Meyer;  Jersey’s Kelly Cave; New York’s Chelsea Thew and Sarah Fetterman; and of course Franconia’s regulars Hugh Condrey Bryant, Paul Howe, and Rebecca Cerra Tishman. Here’s a sneak peak of what’s been happening:


Over the past few weeks, Franconia’s artists-in-residence have been warming up their sculpture-making muscles with an exercise called “How Sculpture Learns.” Here are the rules:

1. Everyone bring one object to the table,

2. Pass the object to the person on the left,

3. Make a sculpture based on this new object given to you,

…and, repeat!

Highlights from

Round 1:


Each of these new creations were passed along to the next person and the artists had two days to make their next renditions. The alcohol pierced a potato, matches scorched wood, and a rock transformed into a key.

Round 2:


Monroe Isenberg puts the finishing touches on his “match” sculpture

What started as a strand of hair turned into a grotesque, yet elegant, candle. The match kept its presence known, and the bottle of alcohol dissolved into a bouquet of potato peels. The plastic cellphone was impaled with a 3′ screw, and the toy firetruck was melted down to its raw material. The reflector became an arrow and the rock became a plush doll.

And finally, Round 3:

(can you tell which one started as a box of matches?)


John McMenamin’s match towers over the dinner table

 After some great critical conversations around the dinner table we are all warmed up! The open-air studio laboratory is bustling with excitement, and sculptures are well underway. Stop by any day of the week to talk to the artists themselves and



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