Starting off a busy summer: Lanesboro, MN residency

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So, after a long hiatus, the blog returns. It was a crazy year of getting settled into the UMass Dartmouth Furniture program and finding my footing down there and it didn’t really slow down until this week.

The summer officially started the week after final grad reviews at UMass, with me getting on a plane with a suitcase full of tools and hardware and flying to Minnesota, where I rented a car and drove two hours south from Minneapolis to the lovely little town of Lanesboro. There, I was an artist in residency for the Lanesboro Arts Center for two weeks. During this time, I was given a fantastic little apartment overlooking the Root River, a studio to work in, and all the assistance and support I needed to make art and explore for the time I was there. Here is the apartment and the view from the back windows…

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The studio was this great little old building where a former spoon carver named Frank Wright (no, not that one) had worked for years and had recently retired. He allowed me full use of his studio and front display space to work. It was just the right place to work on some new projects…

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Look at that pile of spoon making offcuts!!!

Look at that pile of spoon making offcuts!!!

 

The Lanesboro residency asks that some portion of the work done there is somehow publicly engaged or interactive. I had proposed a project working with local barn wood and somehow addressing the unique sense of place that is felt there. While it is a short amount of time, I was able to put together an interesting project in the first week that was installed in the center of town on a busy Saturday. The idea was to create a structure that people can get inside of, that is open on the top, to serve as a sort of sky viewing booth. I was struck by the expanse of the sky out there, so I spent the first week building this structure as well as recording locals commenting on how big the sky was. When viewers stepped inside this chamber, the recording was playing on a loop inside, and they were photographed from below, looking up at the big sky. the resulting video is below…

I have to say, the photographs towards the end of the video are the best because the sun was finally in a place in the sky to not wash everything out.

The materials for this were all taken from a barn built around 1900 that a local timber-framer happened to be in the process of tearing down right in Lanesboro. I was able to dig through the remains of this old barn to get the materials for the Sky Silo…

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Here are some images of the process and the studio…

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ubiquitous selfie!!!

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barnwood selfie!!!

barnwood selfie!!!

 

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the camera mounted inside

the camera mounted inside

 

Anyway, this piece was the bulk of my work at the Lanesboro residency, but I did play around a bit with some temporary and fun sculptural stuff too. The last thing I made was this set of “Manual Directionals” which was a fun little project inspired by the ridiculous directions I would receive from locals. They almost always involved some landmark that either I couldn’t possibly know, or that no longer existed (i.e. turn where the old barn used to be). the last image there is just some playing around I was doing with a stump, a pile of old shingles, and some masking tape…

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Finally, a few shots from around Lanesboro during my exploration of this great little town. It was really a fabulous residency and I would recommend that any artist with a slightly interactive bent and a desire to get out of town and make work in a new place look into applying…

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Filed under art/artists, documenting, residencies, whats new/whats happening

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