-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

Minnesota State Arts Board–A Creative Investment, Celebrating Ten Years of Legacy Art and Impact


Franconia Sculpture Park

  Franconia Sculpture Park  
  Shafer – Chisago County  
  2017 ACHF Grant for Organizations  
  East Central Regional Arts Council  
  Franconia Sculpture Park visitors  

Located in the scenic Saint Croix River Valley, Franconia Sculpture Park is a nonprofit arts organization operating a 43–acre outdoor sculpture park, active artist residency, and community arts programming. The artist residency program serves over 40 artists a year and the arts learning programming serve over 150,000 annual visitors.

Community members, Minnesotans, and visitors come together to create cast metal sculptures as part of the Community Collaboration Hot Metal Pour Program. A hands–on artmaking experience, participants of all ages learn the metal casting process, from mixing the sand and creating the molds to finishing the artworks. Long and laborious, the community builds up around the event. Furnaces heat to 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit and over 8,000 pounds of red hot molten iron is poured throughout the day to make unique works of art. This type of programming bridges the gap between artwork and audience, promoting active, hands–on learning as well as developing an appreciation of artists and the role of the arts in rural communities.

This exhibit features sand scratch blocks in which community members carved their own designs into sand molds. They were then filled with molten iron, resulting in sculptures.