Sauk Rapids sculptor Sam Spiczka to be Featured
Naomi Schliesman comes from a family of “makers” -- people who were seamstresses, woodworkers, farmers and designers and she continues this tradition as an installation sculpture artist working out of the Fergus Falls area. The Postcards team interviewed her in the midst of her colorful and abstract sculptures that were part of an exhibition at the Rourke Museum in Moorhead, Minnesota this past summer. Schliesman also designed the masks that play a starring role in the Xenos film. For Schleisman, it is all about creating objects of art that people find themselves “wanting to touch and be a part of them, to have that interaction,” she said. “That is the tension that I'm creating.”
Dana Johnson’s Xenos was recently featured in the Portland Film Festival and was nominated for an Upper Midwest Emmy Award. The film was funded by a Legacy individual artist grant awarded to Dana Johnson by Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC). In the film, which has no spoken words, a group of aliens come to a rural town and are greeted with hostility by some of the local residents. The film provokes important questions about being a newcomer in a small town, protecting a community's identity and traditions, and the masks we wear to conceal our inner identity. Recently, Pioneer Public TV has been conducting screenings of the film around the region as a way to initiate discussions about the changing nature of small towns as we welcome new immigrants to the area.
In the final segment, award winning sculptor, Sam Spiczka talks about how the landscape of cornfields, rolling hills and the edge of the prairie near Sauk Rapids have influenced him and his work. Spickza’s sculptures have been exhibited nationally – including at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, the Rochester Art Center and Franconia Sculpture Park. He describes his work as looking like “physical poetry.” Spiczka says he is inspired by natural forms and works with fabricated steel. “For me, steel is not a rigid, difficult material,” Spiczka explained. “It's entirely malleable. I think of it more like water that it just can be reconfigured and melted and refrozen in whatever shape you can imagine.”