Franconia Sculpture Park Welcomes New Director Alex Legeros

by | Apr 2024

Alex Legeros

Alex Legeros. Photo: Franconia Sculpture Park

To visit Franconia Sculpture Park is to enter another world. Absurd eyeball-like orbs rotate on an axis, moved by the breeze; an unassuming shed hangs suspended feet above the ground, pulled in every direction by thin cables; a hill of beige rises from the ground, lines etched across the surface to resemble the back of a hand.

“Every time you visit here, there’s something different about it,” says Alex Legeros, the nonprofit’s new director, during a stroll through the park. Looping the 43-acre property, he points out new additions and the blank spaces left by retired pieces.

“One of the things that really makes this park different from basically every other sculpture park is that the work is made here,” Legeros says. “Every piece is made here, and most pieces end up dying here, too.”

That Legoros is now the sculpture park’s director is a return, of sorts, to his upbringing and to his own artistic journey. Born in Edina to two artists—bronze sculptor Nick Legeros and painter Anne Juhl Legeros—he explored various art forms from a young age, taking pottery classes and welding by the third grade.

Yet it was his parents’ involvement in arts nonprofits that inspired him to pursue a master’s degree in arts and cultural leadership from the University of Minnesota. “That’s why I ended up not going into sculpture directly but going into nonprofit leadership because that’s what all of our Twin Cities organizations need right now,” Legeros says.

In his previous role as director of development and communications at White Bear Center for the Arts, Legeros expanded fundraising efforts during a significant period of expansion for the nonprofit. Now, he’s bringing those skills to Franconia, ushering the nonprofit into a new era with a focus on accessibility, artist experience, ecology and utilizing the property to the fullest.

“It’s a gift,” Legeros says, gazing out over the wide prairies and lush forests of the park. “… You can look out here and see 100 stories, and I love that.”

We stop at a set of tiled benches that blends seamlessly into the landscape. It’s a sculpture that Legeros returns to often. The piece, by Constance Mayeron Cowles and Fuller Cowles, was created in collaboration with inmates at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater and installed at Franconia in 2021. Raw truths, in both words and illustrations, are etched on each unique tile. “You can spend a lot of time with pieces like this,” Legeros says.

The third director in Franconia’s 28-year history, Legeros takes the reins in the midst of a difficult period for the nonprofit. He’s not hoping to reinvent the park but look toward recovery and reclamation. Many of his ideas for the future are focused on uplifting artists of all backgrounds by offering them the tools, education and resources to succeed.

“We have so much natural value in the St. Croix Valley. This is a place to celebrate what that means for everyone,” Legeros says. “I can open doors for people here and really give people, whether they’re local or international, an opportunity to do something cool and change their life in a way that then radiates throughout the world.”

Sugar Shack

In 2016, Alex Legeros completed a 23 foot sculpture alongside his partner, Thomas Putzier, titled Sugar Shack. The piece was dismantled in 2022. “There’s so many creative people in this community. The tools are the barriers, not the will,” Legeros says.

Franconia Sculpture Park
29836 St. Croix Trail N., Shafer; 651.257.6668
Facebook: Franconia Sculpture Park
Instagram: @franconiamn
X: @FranconiaMN


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