Sunday’s Site – Franconia Sculpture Park

This week’s site was a new discovery for me…and a wonderful one! When our son invited us to join them at the arts and music festival at the Franconia Sculpture Park yesterday I thought it sounded familiar…but I had never been there. It will be on our calendar again for next year!

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Located on 16 acres of restored prairie between Lindstrom and Taylors Falls, Minnesota, and about an hour’s drive from the Twin Cities, Franconia Sculpture Park is a unique, living blend of grand scale sculpture on display combined with an outdoor studio of working sculpture artists. Created to nurture the artistic growth of both emerging and established artists, its rotating residents include 15-25 artists and up to 15 intern artists each year. Its display of 75 sculptures rotates as new works are being created.

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What struck me as we approached is that the whole park is a ‘work in progress’…it really feels like a living entity. The first photo I took was the one on the left above with three figures. It immediately grabbed me, and I wondered why it was just lying in the grass. I later learned in talking to one of the co-founders of the park that it may be cast to become the only permanent sculpture in the park. The artist, Michael Richards, created it while he was in residence at the park in 2000. In 2001 Mr. Richards was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center. Casting the sculpture in bronze is one idea they are considering to pay tribute to his memory.

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The park and festival were wonderful for people of all ages. It was a treat to see so many children running around, enjoying the art and music…even creating their own sculptures. Another fun feature was a graffiti wall, which evolved during the course of the day as people added spray paint and artists used the additions to create something new. It was a magical afternoon.

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