sticky

Artist & Builder LLC is the artist Frank Meuschke. 

For over thirty years Frank has supported his art making with a blend of gardening, carpentry, teaching, and more. Having left his role teaching architectural drawing and fabrication to architecture students in NYC, he now lives in the woods near Maple Plain, MN. He is currently teaching photography and drawing, farming 8 varieties of garlic, and growing native plants for the wetlands and woods around his home.

Below is a brief exploration of Frank's work history. Please take a look at the Projects tab to see some of his past landscape carpentry and other work projects. Follow @artist_and_builder on Instagram to keep up to date with his ongoing projects.


A Brief History of Work


Frank is currently the manager of photography education programming at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and will be teaching observational drawing for pre-college at MCAD this summer. In addition to this, he has been twice the recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. First for his work as artist in residence at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and now for the development of a landscape photography seminar for nascent landscape photographers. He has also been a Graduate Mentor in the Department of Fine Arts at MCAD and has taught his intensive painting cours, Landscape and Meaning, at Art New England in the verdant hills of Vermont. Before moving to Minnesota in 2015, he was the director of the Fabrication Laboratory within the School of Architecture and Design at the New York Institute of Technology, located in the heart of Manhattan. It was here that he also taught drawing and visualization to architecture students since 2005.

A gardener since he was a child, he has a particular interest in growing vegetables and native plants. In 2007 he started his popular garden blog NYCGarden including nearly 2000 posts on gardening, landscape, parks and farming. He has been interviewed on WNYC radio and in the New York Times for his gardening and blogging. In search of garlic to grow during one late October planting season, he hatched an idea that became Hudson Clove -a small, itinerant farm operation dedicated to growing 8 varieties of garlic. He was selected to sell Hudson Clove garlic at the New Amsterdam Market, a highly selective, local purveyor's open air market at the old Fulton Fish Market. Since moving to Minnesota, Frank is blogging under a new heading, MOUND, and grows his garlic on a neighbor's sheep farm.

Prior to 2005, Frank was the lead carpenter on three total renovation projects in Brooklyn, NY. Two of these were a three and four story wood-framed structure built in the 19th century. From shoring up crumbling stone foundations, gutting and rebuilding floors and walls, doors, windows, kitchen and baths -there wasn't a thing untouched by him or his small crew. The third project lead was on a full-lot garden installation, where he removed rubble by the truck load, replaced over a hundred cubic yards of soil, added drainage, built concrete walls and steps, cedar door and arbor, and dug in hundreds of plants.

From 2001 through 2003, he was appointed Dean of the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in East Madison, Maine. After retiring from his post, he continued to run the school's sculpture facility through 2006. It was in the rugged outdoor environment of Maine that he began to consider building landscape structures in his artwork, a practice that led to commissions for functional forms in the landscape.

In 2000, Frank received his Masters of Fine Arts in painting and a minor in landscape design. His thesis work was centered on plein air landscape paintings and a landscape design and build for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Before heading to graduate school,  Frank worked for Manhattan garden design firms Bill Wheeler Designs and Evan C. Lai Designs where he installed and maintained rooftop decks, pavers, irrigation systems, and planted gardens. He was also the gardener for a family in Great Neck, NY.