Flatfork’S SXSW 2020
Thank you to the Texas Observer for reporting on the impact of a large event’s cancellation on Austin businesses. We appreciate your support!
MARCH 13, 2020 Texas Observer
You may not know Faith Schexnayder’s name, but you’ve probably seen her work. Flat Fork Studio, her custom art and fabrication company, makes large-scale sculptures and installations for companies in Texas and around the nation. The gingerbread houses and giant peppermints at Austin’s Trail of Lights are her creation; so are the enormous golf balls that people pose for photos with at the PGA Golf Tournament. (“Somehow I’ve gotten known as the golf ball queen,” she says. “Anyone who wants a giant golf ball will give us a call.”) Instagram has been good for her business as the demand for eye-catching photo backdrops has risen.
Schexnayder and her five employees had been working long hours in preparation for SXSW. “If I have to stay all night to finish a project, or work on the weekends, or take calls at midnight, that’s just what we do,” she says. Now, three corporate clients have canceled, and she’s out $40,000. Large sculptures and photo walls languish in her warehouse, taking up vital space that she needs to make room for new work. The business is tumultuous even in a good year. “A lot of these companies will come in with last-minute decisions, and then they expect us to basically perform miracles within weeks of the event,” she says. “We come and we do our magic, and then we’re gone. People wonder how these cool things magically appear—well, it’s us.”
The cancellation of SXSW affects not just Schexnayder and her artists, but an entire ecosystem of workers who make mega-sculptures possible: welders, carpenters, printers, and specialty shipping companies. A photo backdrop now gathering dust in her studio took more than 120 hours to create, and the client is still deciding if or how to use it. Building a custom shipping crate alone will be painstaking. Overall, Schexnayder is worried about the financial hit—she’s having to lay off artists—but she’s also confident that something will work out. “If you’re going to do this for a living, you have to be adaptable and flexible,” she says.
Source Link: Texas Observer, March 13, 2020
He came from the North Pole to Austin, hooked up by Austin’s LodgeLocal.co with a really sweet downtown loft while he’s here!
DECEMBER 10-26, 2019
See Flatfork’s work at the Austin Trail of Lights
Every year during the holidays, millions of people visit Austin’s Trail of Lights, awestruck by the thousands of lights and colorful displays. Behind the scenes, for months, Flatfork Studios working on many of the handcrafted displays that are used to create the winter wonderland.
Flatfork Studios is grateful to have been commissioned by the Austin Trail of Lights production company, Forefront Networks, for 6 years. The Austin Trail of Lights is Forefront’s signature two-week community celebration that brings an average of 25,000 nightly attendees – over 2 million people total yearly.
Creating wonderment during the holidays is part of Flatfork’s favorite part of working on the Trail of Lights. Each new hand-crafted piece is planned built by Faith and her partner, Ryan Day.
The Tempo of Austin
We love the following collaboration with Austin’s Classical Music Station, KMFA 89.5 on this functioning metronome – equal parts art, engineering, and technology!
Flatfork was commissioned by KMFA, an independent public classical radio station to create The Metronome, which was on display in downtown Austin at the Suzanna Dickinson House (5th & Neches), where it would change tempo with the volume of Tweets in Austin. The more people Tweeted, the faster it moved!
Although much of our hand-made custom work is privately owned and enjoyed, here’s some digital love for our art:
Flatfork Studio was featured on HGTV’s That’s Clever, Season 3, Episode 26. Faith was shown building a memory quilt sculpture out of foam and detailed mosaic work.