The snow is gone, the house has undergone a serious spring cleaning session, the artists’ work pad is organized, garden veggies are sprouting in our kitchen waiting to be planted, but the most exciting part about this month is already underway. Franconia will once again host a diverse group of artists from all around the world at our rural artist residency.
Not many artist residencies offer an opportunity for artists to create and exhibit on a scale larger than a typical studio or indoor gallery space, which makes our application process rather competitive, and oh so worth it. After reviewing applications and with funding from generous supporters, Franconia was able to offer fellowships to 9 visual artists, plus 14 iron artists, and 14 intern artists. While at Franconia, all kinds of artists share and collaborate in an informal setting that allows them to grow both personally and professionally. While in residence, artists share ideas and receive technical assistance and access to heavy equipment like the big crane and pink fork-lift, allowing them to achieve marvelous, larger-than-life results. This year’s artists include:
As the summer progresses, be sure to visit Franconia to view the various sculptures these artists are working on. You might just run into a few actively constructing their creations on the work-pad. Wish you knew what they were going to make? We have a pretty good idea – of course, Franconia embraces the creative process, so proposals and conceptual ideas are bound to change once materials, tools, and the landscape all become a reality – but keep reading for more info on each artist and their artistic plan. Want to learn more about this year’s artists? Click their proposal picture to be taken to their website.
Pete Driessen currently has sculpture on exhibit at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony called the SS Silverwood Drydock. Driessen’s plans to continue the dry dock boat theme in the rural Franconia landscape. This time he plans to stack the reclaimed vintage boats to form a tower type structure. He is busy collecting midwestern boats and already has a few stashed away at the park.
Alejandro Guzman proposes a work titled, Loquacious #2. Similar to the obelisk type structure encrusted with mirrors shown to the left. Loquacious #2 is planned to be 18 feet high and painted in a chameleon paint. Fingers crossed that this piece will be part of a whole series of Loquacious sculptures. Guzman envisions the work will provide a place for reflection, meditation and wonderment for everyone in the community.
Emily Stover likes to investigate the way people inhabit the landscape and the systems that support modern ways of life. Her sculpture, Shipshape, will be a representation of shipping containers made from repurposed railroad ties. In life, these containers travel the globe and carry all the “stuff” that makes the global marketplace possible. Their paths trace the geography of our desires. Collectively the ties will make an arched gateway over a footpath.
Asako Nakauchi is a Japanese artist based in Minneapolis, MN. Her recent installations and sculptures are made almost entirely of discarded or salvaged materials. Tsunami will continue this process by using crosscut sections of pipe to hold up a wave like section of chainmail.
Asia Ward returns to Franconia, this time as a Fellowship artist (she served as an intern artist in 2003) who plans on creating a 24-foot high solar tree sculpture. Solar Tree will be an aluminum and steel sculpture that will absorb energy from the sun, store it, and glow at night – it will even have a USB charging station for visitors!
Wendy Klemperer often uses the imagery of animals in her work to express a feeling or state of being. As a child this led to hours of watching, drawing, and imagining for Klemperer. Often times steel lines build the form creating a tension and negative space that allows the landscape to be imbedded in the work. Klemperer plans to continue to work with animal forms while at Franconia.
Sharon M. Louden is a full-time practicing, professional artist who lives and works in Minneapolis, MN and Brooklyn, NY. Currently, Louden is working on a new body of work for two upcoming solo exhibitions scheduled for the fall, 2015, and a premiere screening of a new animation to debut in 2016.
Peter Lundberg is headed to Franconia this spring after an extensive trip to Australia. Lundberg is a Vermont based artist exhibiting in the USA, Europe, China and Australia. He is known for casting concrete forms directly into earth molds. His plans for Franconia are no different and if you are lucky, you’ll be here to witness the crane lifting the giant sculpture into place.
Foon Sham works at the University of Maryland, College Park, teaching sculpture. Similar to his other works that arrange small rectangular pieces of wood into elaborate sculptures, he plans on a structure 10-12 feet high made of wood that will have an opening for viewers to experience the sculpture from inside.
The creativity doesn’t stop there. Our intern artist program supports career-bound artists by providing them the space, time, and technical support to create something BIG. For many artists,time at Franconia affords them the rare opportunity to gain professional experience in their field and build expertise in public speaking, community engagement, and public service. Working alongside peers and mid-career artists, the Intern Artist Program creates a dynamic setting for artists to grow, learn, and mature. All 14 intern artists have been invited to make sculpture for the exhibition at Franconia. Look for future posts highlighting the interns as they arrive, and visit Franconia anytime to see them hard at work.
John McMenamin, MN
Kelly Cave, NJ
Monroe Isenberg, OR
Chelsea Thew, NY
Shanice Jackson-Ellison, MN
Gary Schmitt, FL
Josie Vogel, MD
Elicia Epstein, MA
Leah Junquera, NY
AJ Meadows, MI
Thaddeus Sadowski, MA
Anna Lavanger, MN
Dylan Redford, CA
There is even more sculpture planned for 2015! In late July and early August Franconia gets HOT when our Hot Metal Artists join us to create cast iron sculptures to add to the exhibition. 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. Through a collaborative effort, the Hot Metal Residency culminates in a two pours, one to create scratch molds made by the public, the other to cast the much larger molds made by the iron artists during their residency. Stop by on August 1st or 8th to witness furnaces melting approximately 8,000 lbs. of iron or visit our cast iron exhibition anytime to see the unique works this group of artists makes.
Meagan Daus, MN
Christopher Groth, MN
Patrick Healy, NY
Okay Ikenegbu, Nigeria
Holly Kelly, MA
Greg Loring, OH
Rosemarie Oakman, NY
Tamsie Ringer, MN
Araan Schmidt, CO
Amber White, MN
Carl Orstad, MN
Jordan Krutsch, NC
Michelle Kwiecien, NY
Matthew Mroz, NY
Sculpture making has already started on the work pad, so hurry up and stop by the outdoor studio to visit with the 2015 artists-in-residence and see all the new work in progress. Artists are continually adapting to new surroundings, cultures, and ideas, so plans and proposals are bound to change. Perhaps you’ll get a chance to ask a Franconia artist how their ideas have changed since their initial proposal. You are bound to notice exciting changes! To see an archived list of Franconia Artists, please visit our Meet the Artists page, and as always #startseeingsculpture.
The Artist Residency Program is made possible through generous lead support provided by the Jerome Foundation, Windgate Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Woodbury Foundation, with additional support provided by the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Sage Cleveland Foundation, and RBC Wealth Management, and many generous individuals.
Looking for additional reasons to visit Franconia? We have plenty of events and family friendly activities planned for the summer, read our other blog post: One Stunner of a Summer, to learn about all the other reasons you should visit the park!