The 45-minute drive north may deter those who like their art parks nice and close, but the ambling peace of Franconia Sculpture Park would be impossible in the busy confines of the city. On a 14-acre plot in the rural nowhere between Shafer and Taylors Falls, local and international sculptors prop up massive works in various stages of completion: A given piece--whether meticulous wooden structure, craggy iron casting, or goopy plastic extrusion--is just as likely to be in progress as completely finished. Squatting in prairie grass and backed by a vast, buildingless skyline, these sculptures are more exploratory than final, taking shape in a process as slow as their surroundings.


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