We recently had the opportunity to interview Fairgrounds St. Pete FLORIDARAMA Artist Finn Schult. Their diorama Untitled Ochoppee Project, is a mixed-media design combining one of Florida’s quaint roadside attractions with our most legendary cryptid.
Finn Schult is a visual artist from the American South currently living and working in Detroit. Finn has exhibited internationally and is an alumni of the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture, the Savannah College of Art and Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art. They have been involved in group and solo exhibitions across the US and internationally at institutions such as the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, MI; Württembergische Kunstverein in Stuttgart, Germany and The Baker Museum in Naples, FL. Schult’s work spans multiple mediums but is currently rooted in video, performance, painting and site-specific installation.
Read on to learn more about what the experience of being part of our inaugural exhibit is like for them!
What do you want the public to take away from experiencing the FLORIDARAMA diorama you have created for Fairgrounds St. Pete?
FINN SCHULT: The most I could ask for is that the viewer leaves with a sense of curiosity and wonder towards our state. Maybe a greater understanding of how Florida has such an oddly unique history that is absolutely worth learning about.
What about being a part of Fairgrounds St. Pete’s inaugural exhibition is most exciting to you?
FS: I’m honestly just honored to have the chance to show work alongside such amazing artists from my home state. I think the art world at large becomes so focused on people from places like New York and LA that it’s easy to forget how incredible art within our own communities can be, and I appreciate the way that Fairgrounds St. Pete has brought so many of us together in one place.
What or what inspired your Fairgrounds St. Pete FLORIDARAMA?
FS: Growing up on the outskirts of the Everglades has always made me curious and appreciative of the area‘s history and lore. I wanted to make a piece that kind of celebrated a small part of the Everglades’ weirdness. I just figured that it would be fitting to make a replica of Ochoppee’s Post office (which is the smallest post office in the country) for such a small piece!
Who or what is the most significant influence in your art practice?
FS: That’s such a hard question to answer because so many different things feel so important. My family has influenced the shape of my practice pretty heavily, but so have the places I’ve lived and visited. My background in art history definitely impacts the way I make and what feels important thematically.
Besides Fairgrounds St. Pete, do you have an upcoming project you’d like to share?
FS: I’m hoping to move back to Florida in the near future to open a gallery & art consultancy through the curatorial project I’m a co-founder of. We’re looking at St. Pete for a landing spot actually, so I’m definitely excited about that!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
FS: The only real thing I would have to say is to take the advice of the people you respect more seriously. Remember that they’re just looking out for you and more often than not, know what they are talking about.
What is your favorite FL destination or landmark?
FS: My favorite Florida afternoon consists of going to Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs and then hitting Buffalo Chips right down the street when you’re done. Both really weird and really great spots.