Photos courtesy Rachele Krivichi, Cole Zrostlik, and Carissa Samaniego
During a residency at Franconia Sculpture Park in Franconia, Minnesota in 2007, artist Peter Morales spent the summer carving a large block of limestone quarried from Mankato, Minnesota into a curvy, swirly, biomorphic sculpture. Now, on loan from the artist, Amble, a sculptural bench, fills a previously empty triangle of earth along the sidewalk at the St. Croix Falls Public Library!
Over the past year, Carissa (Franconia’s education director) and I have eagerly discussed opportunities for the library and the sculpture park to collaborate on creative programming for youth. A dimensional story building project, a storytelling sculpture walk, and a community designed-bench were among the ideas. Ultimately, the collaboration developed into a combination of those ideas.
On June 21st, Morales and crew installed Amble in front of the library with help from the city crew:
Morales and sculpture park artists spent the rest of the day ‘in-residence’ at the library. Peter, a native of Guatemala, recalled a folktale about art and the colors from his native country during a special storytime:
And in the afternoon, Franconia facilitated an awesome puppet-making workshop where kids were shown how to alter old books to create book monsters! Their creations are on display in the library’s windows until they take to the streets during the Wannigan Days parade this weekend:
The collaboration was a rewarding experience for everyone. It was an opportunity to support an artist and his artwork, to champion the Franconia Sculpture Park, to add interest to the library building, and a chance to provide some out-of-this-world creative community programming for kids. This is hopefully just the beginning of a strong partnership between Franconia Sculpture Park and St. Croix Falls Public Library!
For more information about youth programming at the library or the sculpture park, visit our websites!
For more information about the artist check him out online: www.petermoralesart.com.
St. Croix Falls Public Library: www.stcroixfallslibrary.org.
Franconia Sculpture Park: www.franconia.org.