I drove 6+ hours through the beautiful and highly superior/ incredibly scenic upper-northwestern Wisconsin/Minnesota area (split into 2 days), past rolling cornfields, unexpected cliffs, countless rivers and lakes (without getting lost and with no speeding tickets; a huge accomplishment for me), and finally happened upon Franconia Sculpture Park. I say happened upon, but of course I had detailed instructions on how to reach the park. I envy the people who actually do "happen upon" it. As your car pulls off of the scenic Highway 8, you might have to do a double-take on your righthand side. Peaking out from behind the long grass and bushes are mysterious objects, some of them resembling animals, some of them resembling buildings, and some of them resembling nothing at all. They litter the lawn in all shapes and sizes, and you are not sure if you have encountered a strange zoo or an alien dumping ground. And then you see the sign: Franconia Sculpture Park. You'd be crazy not to pull in. Drive into the parking lot and you see this:
You might not see any people, but the Information Booth does the job. Well, sort of. Even after reading through the pamphlets you might still feel a bit mystified as to how you came across this strange art utopia perched on the edge of a river.
Taylors Falls, MN
Nuff said. As far as I'm concerned, this place is the best of both worlds. My resistance to living and working in a city paid off. Instead of dealing with the hustle and bustle, I get to live two miles away from the St. Croix River. I get the energy of the city (see Franconia's calendar of events here) with the culture and peacefulness of the country. I get to learn a ton about community engagement, grants for non-profit organizations, living and working with artists, and "chatting up" donors, as was described to me earlier today. Also, I get to live in a communal setting and learn how to cook, a skill I probably should have acquired years ago. I guess you could say I will become well-rounded in a highly specific and esoteric way.
Truthfully, I am so, so, so lucky to have this internship. My recent college graduation has left me distracted, depressed, dazed, and sort of heartbroken. I loved school, and I loved learning about and writing about art. I loved my professors, and I loved the intellectual setting of Lawrence. I loved the people I was surrounded by, and I loved the disjointed and random things that they taught me about life. I have very little interest in processing the way I feel about graduating, and am eager to stay busy and get started on the next phase. I know as long as I surround myself with art at all times I will probably be okay. Luckily enough I am staring out my window at a 10-foot tall sculpture made out of recycled radios.