Franconia Sculpture Park Announces 2020 Art & Ecology Initiative

Shafer, Minnesota: For the first time in its nearly 25-year history, Franconia will be focusing each exhibition season around a specific topic, creating community and educational programming that addresses that theme. As such, Franconia Sculpture Park is pleased to announce its comprehensive 2020 Art & Ecology Initiative.

About Franconia Sculpture Park 2020 Art & Ecology Initiative

In 2020, Franconia is celebrating Franconia’s symbiotic relationship between contemporary sculpture and nature by developing unique, meaningful, and engaging educational content and public programming for adults and youth alike. As a crucial member of the creative community of the St. Croix River Valley, Franconia Sculpture Park believes that art, nature, and community connect all of us. This multi-tiered program includes opportunities for invited artists to create land art that is mindful about the specific space and landscape that their work occupies. These artists include:

  • Alberto Aguilar, a Chicago-based artist who creates site-specific interventions to connect directly with the viewers. Aguilar holds a BFA and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • Ashley Blalock, a San Diego-based artist who uses craft-based processes such as crochet to create objects and site-specific work in outdoor settings. Blalock holds an MFA in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BA in Painting & Printmaking from San Diego State University.
  • Ryan Turley, a New York-based artist who creates land art that addresses sexuality, identity, and popular culture in America. Turley holds an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BFA from St. Martin’s London/Parson’s The New School.

In addition to these artists who will be living and working at Franconia to create new, experimental work, Franconia will be creating environmentally-conscious and sustainable “green” landscaping and other “curated” park grounds to offer visitors different ways to experience the park. Franconia’s nearly 150 sculptures will be mindfully placed in interplay with the magnificent landscape of native prairie lands, newly developed garden spaces, trees and sky that change with every season.

Franconia’s expanded youth education programs for rural youth will partner trained teaching artists with ecologists to deliver hands-on arts programming that links directly to STEM curriculum in the schools. Similarly, Franconia’s adult education programs will focus on the importance of pollinators at the park, as Franconia develops a community garden, butterfly sanctuary, and beekeeping program, alongside the launch of monthly summer Farmer’s Markets.

The capstone of 2020 will be the “2020 Art & Ecology Symposium”, a one-day event focusing on the confluence of art, nature, and environmental change, hosted in the park’s newly opened Franconia Commons building. This visionary event will be an exciting and innovative landmark gathering for artists, educators, and audiences to come together to engage in critical dialogue about the important issues facing our world.

About Franconia Sculpture Park

Franconia Sculpture Park is the pre-eminent, artist-centered sculpture park in the Midwest. Founded in 1996, Franconia provides physically and intellectually wide-open spaces that inspire new ways of thinking through access to contemporary sculpture, installation and land art. Located in the scenic St. Croix River Valley, Franconia operates a 43-acre outdoor museum, active artist residency program, and a depth and breadth of arts programming for a diverse and engaged public.

Franconia is located at 29836 St. Croix Trail in Shafer, Minnesota and is free and open to the public 365 days a year from dawn to the dusk.

Media Contact:

Alyssa Auten
Communications & Creative Director
Franconia Sculpture Park