El Hada de la Santa Luna by Peter Martín Morales
Franconia Sculpture Park
, located near Taylors Falls, has been offering a unique exhibition space, residency program, and workspace for artists since 1996. It also hosts a number of educational and outreach programs in its idyllic 20-acre park.
Now Franconia is expanding its reach with "Franconia in the City
" at the Casket Arts building in northeast Minneapolis. The project started during last year's Art-A-Whirl Festival, and curated a show last fall for Cache at the Casket. It currently has an exhibition, presented in collaboration with Grupo Soap del Corazón
, called "Los Cuatro Ases." It features sculptures and paintings by four Latino Artists including Alonso Sierralta, Peter Martín Morales, Douglas Padilla, and Xavier Tavera.
John Hock, director of Franconia, says that the decision open a gallery in Minneapolis was one that the organization had been wanting to do for some time. The city is particularly advantageous for some of Franconia's educational programming, where it can offer kids classes during the winter and also hold artist symposiums and other events.
Prayer Tree #7 by Douglas Padilla
The Minneapolis location also makes it more convenient for city-dwellers to experience all of the wonderful art that Franconia has to offer, evidenced by Saturday evening's packed gallery.
The four artists featured in the current exhibit all compliment each other well, though they have individual style. Alonso Sierralta presents some stunning sculptural work, utilizing natural forms. In Biomolecule, Sierralta groups circular textured objects in a random pattern that seems to suggest movement, while his Postolith installation, which contains five canoe-shaped things made of dry plaster, also appears alive somehow. In other works, Sierralta uses synthetic material to create sticks, which are remarkably lifelike, although eerily other-worldly as well.
Postolith by Alonso Sierralta
Like Sierralta, Douglas Padilla also draws inspiration from the natural world. Padilla's Prayer Trees are quite beautiful, where nails become a kind of moss on wood. Padilla's self portraits, which are intensely layered large mixed works, also have a sense of "aliveness" to them, as well as an emotional spirituality.
Peter Martín Morales's sculptures also emit a spirituality. They are almost ritualistic, with simple shapes and clean lines. There's an ancient power that seems to come from them. As for Xavier Tavera, his photographs also contain a simplicity, whether it's with his black-and-white photographs of trees (Arbol 1 & 2) or his interesting ghost-like images etched in what looks like glass.
If you missed the opening, you'll have a chance to speak with the artists in a 3-D symposium at the "Salon Artissimo" at Franconia in the City, which is located at 1781 Jefferson Street NE in Minneapolis. Additionally, the gallery is open on Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment.