Meet our Spring Interns!
Sadly, our spring interns will be leaving us in a few short days… but it’s not too late to get to know them! A few weeks ago we asked our three spring interns nine questions each. Take a few minutes to get to know our amazing spring interns, Tavish Costello, Vanessa Mastronardi, and Hunter Boeh, and visit Franconia Sculpture Park to see their new work– now on exhibit!
Meet Tavish Costello!
What is your spirit tool? My spirit tool is my Broad Axe that I fashioned a handle for.
Favorite dance party song? My Fav dance party song is “Heart and Soul” by Huey Lewis And The News.
Favorite sculpture on exhibit at FSP? The sculpture that I like the most at Franconia is “Are You Down” by Michael Richards.
Why did you want to be an intern artist at FSP? I wanted to intern at FSP to breakup my ordinary life and project myself back into the art community.
What are you working on to exhibit at FSP? I’m working on a sculpture involving large basalt stones, steel, and possibly other materials.
How does it relate to your past work? I’ve used similar materials and processes in the past.
How has being at Franconia affected your process? I am going bigger scale at Franconia because the facilities make it possible and for a challenge.
What have you gained from being an intern at FSP? I’m gaining more knowledge of tools and how to push past previous limits of everything.
What are your plans once your internship at FSP concludes? I plan on finishing a sculpture studio in progress in the Adirondacks, NY and push the limits further.
Meet Vanessa Mastronardi!
Spirit tool? I’ve really fallen in love with stick welding during my time here. Truthfully, I don’t think I’m good enough at stick welding to be able to call it my spirit tool. Yet! So I guess I’d say my hands are the most useful tools I’ve got. These puppies can do pretty much anything.
Favorite dance party song? I’ve probably listened to “Instant Need” by FKJ every day for the last four months, but if the occasion is right and things are getting weird, it’s gotta be the Dirtyphonics Mystery Mix. I can also get down to pretty much all of Mac Demarco’s stuff.
Favorite sculpture on exhibit at FSP? My favourite sculpture at FSP is probably the Skallagrim by Peter Lundberg. I saw an image of it on the website before I arrived here and thought “oh that looks cool” and then I saw it in real life and probably spent an hour with it. It’s so excellent and it’s a great example of the importance of spending time with 3 dimensional work in person. The sheer size is so impactful and the form is so elegant. I love the materiality of it, as well as the left over plastic which explains process as well as mark making. It dwarfs literally everything around it while maintaining a quiet humility.
Why did you want to be an intern artist at FSP? I first heard about Franconia from my Sculpture Professor Roy Mills. I also personally know five other artists who have attended Franconia’s Intern Artist Program in the past. All of these people speak of Franconia as a magical space filled with creative potential and I’ve found that description to be entirely accurate. I wanted to be an intern artist at FSP because living in a communal setting with a bunch of other artists, working together to maintain a park and engage a community while making sculpture every day sounded like a dream.
What are you working on to exhibit at FSP? I’m working on a series of spherical forms which vary in shape and size. So far, I have twenty that range from the size of a grapefruit to the size of .. one hundred grapefruits clumped together to make a giant grapefruit. I really couldn’t think of a point of comparison. Sorry. I’m also making one massive 8 foot version of these things. I’ve been covering them in branches and straw from around the park so they kind of look like nests, although I’m trying to stop referring to them as nests. I’m going to hang the nests so that they are suspended and there is going to be some metal in the mix. Past that, I’m still figuring it all out. Like, what should go inside the nests? This question seems important but I don’t have the answer.
How does it relate to your past work? The sculptures I create vary in form and context, but all become vessels for trace and memory, evoking voyeuristic tendencies as well as imagination. My sculptures create strange interventions in space that reconsider the ordinary by defamiliarizing the everyday. These interventions are meant to reveal something important about the nature of our consumption and the value we place on our surroundings and our material world. Sentiments of the absurd as well as human intervention are integral to my work.
How has being at Franconia affected your process? My process incremental. I have a really hard time imagining sculpture in my mind and need to see a thing in front of me in order to understand what it needs. So I’ll have a vague idea for a form and all I can do is start from there. Once the thing exists, I can respond to it and build off of it. That’s when all of the ideas surface about what it might look like or what it might be about. All of my work goes through many iterations of itself before becoming its final self. I was worried that this process would be inefficient while making larger work, but Franconia has only reinforced this method and shown me that I can experience success with my process while making larger works as well.
What have you gained from being an intern at FSP? I think the biggest thing I’ve gained from interning at FSP is a renewed love for sculpture and a better understanding of my own ability and desire to make large scale work. I would add that I feel a strong need to bring the spirit and community that lives in Franconia back to Edmonton. Other than that, I’ve learned a lot of new techniques at FSP. Stick welding and using a torch as well as how to drive stick. I’ve also gained a huge appreciation for Minnesota! I honestly had a totally inaccurate idea of what Minnesota is about. Not only is this state insanely beautiful but the people are lovely and the culture is rich, I kind of just want to live here.
What are your plans once your internship at FSP concludes? I just want to keep making work. I’ll probably try to convince my grandparents to let me use their farmland as a sculpture studio. Also, my grandparents are just awesome and I should spend more time with them. Shout outs to grandpa Leslie and grandma Violet, you da bomb!!! I also really want to go to Documenta and the Munster Sculpture Project next year. After that, I’ll most definitely be applying for grad school.
Meet Hunter Boeh!
Spirit tool? I’d have to say my favorite tools are my wooden clay tools, I use them far more than anything else I have.
Favorite dance party song? Pool Party, by the Aquabats!
Favorite sculpture on exhibit at FSP? That’s a tough one, but I’d have to say Reclamation by Mel VanHouten.
Why did you want to be an intern artist at FSP? I was drawn in by the idea of working around so much art and living with other artists- it’s definitely lived up to the hype!
What are you working on to exhibit at FSP? I’m currently working on a small scale figurative sculpture that will be the beginning of a larger series of casts.
How does it relate to your past work? Much of my previous work has ties to my personal identity, and this new work is related to idea of internet subcultures merging with the art world.
How has being at Franconia affected your process? I’ve had to consider the weather and how it affects my artmaking process and finished piece much more than I’ve had to in the past, it’s been a big challenge.
What have you gained from being an intern at FSP? I’ve gotten lots of great feedback and advice from the other artists at the park, it’s really helped open my practice to new processes and materials.
What are your plans once your internship at FSP concludes? I’ll be returning home to Louisiana while searching for other internships and residencies!