Located in the scenic St. 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 park is free and open to the public 365 days a year, with over 100 sculptures created by artists-in-residence. Franconia awards competitive fellowships and internships to up to 40 emerging, mid-career, and established visual artists each year, supporting the creation and exhibition of large-scale sculpture. Franconia’s mission is to provide physically and intellectually wide-open spaces where all are inspired to participate in the creative process.
Franconia Sculpture Park served as a touchstone at several points in the developing career of artist Alex Lindsay. Lindsay’s internship with Franconia in 2008 propelled his interest in sculpture, eventually leading him to attain an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. While in graduate school, Alex explored work that involved kinetic and mechanized objects and installations. His work progressed from there, culminating in his work Star being exhibited at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.
Alex was awarded a FSP/Jerome Fellowship Residency at Franconia in 2013 to undertake a truly ambitious project, a kinetic multi-media artwork titled Highway that explored the development of the mid-20th century phenomenon of the American interstate highway system. Highway consisted of three main elements: a fabricated steel track, the back-end of a box truck, and a projected video. The back-end of a box truck was mounted to a fabricated steel unit powered by a mechanized gear to move back and forth along the steel track at one rotation every 24 hours. The back door of the box truck opened and closed via a garage door opener triggered by a motion sensor. Visitors to the sculpture were invited to view a projected video of highway scenes on a loop. As visitors watched the projection, the box truck moved along a 50 foot track.
Highway represents Alex’s investigation of how the highway system changed patterns of mobility in America by creating an unconventional way of understanding the psychological and emotional significance of freeway travel in American society. Highway is site-specific to Franconia’s landscape and environment. Franconia’s nurturing residency environment supported Alex in tackling this complex outdoor multi-media installation, a conceptual and technical challenge he desired to pursue.