Tornado on the Map

Tornado on the Map

Franconia Sculpture Park and Interact Center for Visual & Performing Arts are pleased to present Tornado on the Map, a three-person exhibition exploring ecology that features the work of artists Daniel Metchnek, David Wright, and Matt Zimdars.

Opening September 24, 2022 in the Mardag Gallery at Franconia Commons, Tornado on the Map features bold moves and playful gestures across ceramics, drawing, and painting while pondering landscapes, animals, and the forces of nature that shape the Earth. 

Matt Zimdars’ “WCCO” series explores weather systems in the Midwest and the station whose reports he recorded diligently for years. With a special interest in severe weather, Zimdars’ patchwork drawings overlay text from the weather channel with satellite images of Minneapolis, Stillwater, and beyond. David Wright’s paintings and drawings of destination spots are inspired by personal travel experiences, referencing images from books and the internet. Many of his works spring from trips he took with family and friends. Daniel Metchnek’s small, ceramic sculptures are intimate studies of animals from across the globe. Small enough to hold, and at times smiling, lounging, or on the prowl, Metchnek’s eagles, tigers, and lions represent a human relationship to nature. While humans are noticeably absent in Tornado on the Map, our role as witnesses and stewards, both subject to nature and actively shaping it, is felt throughout. 


Daniel Metchnek has called Interact his studio since 2012, and in the last ten years he has continued to find inspiration in the natural world. “When I see something I’m interested in drawing, I begin by asking myself whether or not I think I can do it,” he says. “After that, finding out is the fun part. Ceramics comes across as difficult, but my grandfather was a sculptor, and I love working with my hands.” Metchnek has shown work throughout Minnesota, including at Rochester Art Center, Phoenix Theater, and Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.

David Wright has called Interact his studio since 2002. His technicolor cityscapes and bold depictions of animals are inspired by travel and the desire to see more of the world. His process begins with research, whether through firsthand experiences, books, or online searches. Alongside his drawing and painting practice, Wright is always adding to an ongoing line of hand-drawn greeting cards. He has shown work at venues throughout Minnesota, including Midway Contemporary Art, Metro State University, and the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota.

Matt Zimdars has called Interact his studio since 1996. He comes from an artistic family and has been making work for decades. In the early aughts, Zimdars’ drawings, paintings, collages, and artist books focused on detailed research of severe weather phenomena. More recently, he utilizes found blueprints, floor plans, and architectural magazines to describe his plans for the future. Throughout Zimdars’ work, elements of text, tape, and found images synthesize in diligently ordered blocks of content. He is a collector and creator of both schematics and dreams, and his favorite temperature is “a low of 36, high of 99”. Zimdars has presented work throughout the US, including Lyndon House Arts Center (Athens, GA), Art Enables (Washington, DC), and Western Wisconsin State College.

Franconia Commons is open 7 days/week from 9am-5pm through November 15; November 16-April 15 Franconia Commons is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-4pm and by appointment. 

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