Saturday, September 25, 2010

Franconia Sculpture Park

On Friday I took a day off to hang with my wife while Eryn was at school. I took a half day off last week so we could go to Devil, but Devil really sucked (reminded me a lot of 70's horror movies and I agree fully with the reviewer who said that if you have a locked room movie, you should never cut the action away from the locked room. I preferred Fermat's Room which is a similar movie, but without the supernatural aspect). Even a full day off is a short day, as Eryn needs to be picked up by about 3 p.m. on Fridays after school, but it was long enough to drive up to Franconia Sculpture Park, find some breakfast, and visit a place near Stillwater to get some discount prairie grass for the back yard. We tried to stop by Nelson's Ice Cream as well, but its hours didn't jive with getting back south of the river by 3 p.m. I went to the Franconia Sculpture Park with Ming and Kyle last year when we went to ride the Gandy Dancer trail, almost to the day and I wanted to revisit it this year as, unlike the Walker, their selection of art almost completely changes annually.

This is where we ate breakfast, Joseph's, just off Highway 36 as you head into Stillwater. The food was great, the waitress pleasant and talkative, the selection of homemade pies extensive (we took home their signature raspberry swirl, which was more like a pie-sized cheese cake), and they have a food challenge. The Paul Bunyan Burger. It looks to be about 2.5 pounds of burger and fries and accouterments. The t-shirt was free until the 25th, but after that it costs $5. I have challenged Ming to eat one, head to head, via Facebook.

As you can tell from the last picture. It was overcast. Not an ideal day for a stroll around a sculpture garden. But it was a better day for us than it was for these artists setting up their sculpture balloon. Because what you can't tell from the picture was that it was incredibly windy. Watch a video or two below and you'll hear it, because the noise of the wind completely overwhelms whomever is speaking.

This is what the sculpture looked like by the time we left.

I'm not sure what this one is called. It might be PART of Montenegro by Zoran Mojsilov. Hard to tell - we couldn't find the sign/plate. There's a nice picture on Flickr (or click the title) of Pooteewheet touching one of the plant things, as well as an interesting close up.

This is where hobbit programmers hang out. 10 Minutes Towards Enlightenment by Steven Kuypers. I like the moat, although given how much water was around it was difficult to tell if it was intentional. There's a computer screen and keyboard at the top of the hill, although they don't actually work.

Spurl, by Paul Howe. Sort of disturbing close up. Looks like a really gross scorpion. The rocks are actually cement formed in bags, and you can see the striations if you're standing there. Made me think of the pictures of scorpions with their babies on their backs (ew...ick...).

Three. THREE. Ahahahahahahahaha.... The Count from Sesame Street's favorite piece, Bon Chance by Andrew Macguffie. Like Elmo, he had a duet with Katy Perry that he filmed near here, but it too was axed.

But if they popped a three out of the sculpture, then why is the cut out piece a 5??? Must be the part of the art that makes you really think.

It was a little more interesting from inside.

1994 Oldsmobile Achieva S by Tamsie Ringler. A flattened car made out of concrete, right down to the license plate. Seemed like a cool idea for a playground.

Quaker Cannons by Paul Linden. Are they Quaker because there's no iron, or are they Quaker because they're obviously non-functional as implements of war?

One of several fish by Robert Ressler, such as Gar and Lamphrey and Mudpuppy and Catfish. Pooteewheet and I both thought it would be interesting to have one of these in the back yard.

Pooteewheet on the swing in Bridget Beck's Playstation.

A bit of swinger video. You can see what I mean about the wind.

Me, on Playstation. If it weren't for the rusty metal, or that the birds in the many birdhouses would poo all over, it would be an almost practical playground for kids. It had lots of little nooks with tables and chairs for just hanging out.

Playstation from a distance. Pretty sizable. I think the Walker should move this one to their space. It would complement their bridge.

I believe this was called "Tongues of the Masters".

You can appreciate it more when you're close up.

Johnny Appleseed by Mark di Suvero. I'm not sure why it's Johnny Appleseed. I would have called it Mary Anne.

The Big Game by Kari Reardon. We gave it a quarter because it was so funny. There's a gun and you can pull the trigger, at which point it mocks you about not giving it a quarter and your shooting prowess. At one point it broke into maniacal female laughter. I tried to catch it in the video below and maybe you can catch just a piece of it if you have your volume cranked up enough to hear it above the wind.

Here you go...listen carefully.

Baseline by William Ransom. Reminded me of another piece called Skinscape that's still there (it's basically a concrete patio, so it would be difficult to move), but that's by a different artist, Trevor Nicholas. I'd like to see Tall Brad and Klund play head-to-head on this court.

Trying to show a bit of how wet it was. About 60% of the fields were covered with water. The rest was just soggy.

The ducks liked it very much. Practical art if you're waterfowl, until the house falls on you while you're eating some weeds.

Rocco by Amy Toscani. The strong wind meant it was actually spinning like a giant amusement ride, although you couldn't ride it.

Live spinning action...

Tractor Fin by Kurt Dyrhaug. It was interesting from this angle, but then we passed it again from the back...

...and discovered it had a seat. I think the artist should just have it in his front yard and sit on it so that when people drive by they're incredibly confused about whether it's a real vehicle.

Evening by James Payne. It's like Dexter's shipping container, but without the serial killer paraphernalia. I thought it would be difficult to take a picture, but it turned out very nice. If I had been thinking, I'd have done something like this picture by Dan Anderson on Flickr. Very nice!

Great day trip if you like art and getting out in the Minnesota fall. I wish the colors had been a bit further along in the river valley, so a week or two from now might be optimal.

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