Basking in the beauty of the woods, designer Korrin Lohmann and carpenter Adam Valesano, both of Minneapolis, Minnesota, spent four weeks in Stevens Point this past June creating the Extended Point Gathering Space--one of the newest additions to the Stevens Point Sculpture Park.
Before creating the new performance space, Lohmann and Valesano explored the sculpture park, created a concept rooted in functionality and accessibility, and presented their idea to the Sculpture Park Board. After their concept was accepted, they began construction on the Gathering Space a few months later.
With Lohmann a design instructor at the Art Institutes International in Minnesota and a Masters degree in Architecture and Valesano a carpenter, their roots lie in functional design.
"Our goal was to create a gathering space for everyone, emphasizing functionality," Valesano said.
The Gathering Space was inspired by the trees around the area, with the intention of creating the feeling of sitting on a tree. Interactions with sculptures and with art is something that is very important to them in their work, and when asked what they hoped came of the space both Lohmann and Valesano exclaimed: "To be used!" They recalled the joy and satisfaction that came from seeing the space being used after finishing it in late June.
The completion of their work was celebrated with a performance about nocturnal animals, featuring puppets created by second and fourth graders from the Stevens Point Washington and Jefferson schools.
Puppets were created with the help of the school’s artist-in-residence Pam Corcoran, and were inspired by Fran Hammerstrom’s book entitled "Walk When the Moon is Full" as well as a book of poems about nocturnal creatures entitled "Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night."
"Seeing the space being used is the best reception we could have asked for," Valesano said. "To have these kids perform here was an example of what the space could be used for."