22 Questions with Liam Fracht-Monroe
1. Name: Liam Fracht-Monroe
2. Age: 39
3. Hometown: A few — Pittsford when I was very young, then a few other places around Vermont, and now Mendon is home.
4. How would you describe yourself in three words? Determined Cookie Joker
5. What’s something not a lot of people know about you? It’ll stay a mystery
6. How do you start your day? Coffee, always coffee. And usually an egg and cheese sandwich.
7. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
8. What’s your favorite food? Is Maple Syrup a food group?
9. Do you have a day job? Sure do, I’m a partner in Smörgåsbord, a global live event design and production agency.
10. What medium do you work in? Metal
11. Why this medium? The ability to create lasting outdoor expressions that will be seen by others (hopefully). Plus, I can’t paint, draw, or do much worthy of art in woodworking or pottery.
12. What inspired you / how did it start? Covid — I needed something to help get our family outside during the spring lockdown. I wanted to gather around a fire pit, something my boys love. But nothing I could find online or in the stores was an expression of who I am. So I set out to design something unique to me and my family. Once I built one and showed it to friends, it turned into another order, and another, and at some point I decided this was now a business.
13. Do you have a process for creating? I work with a fantastic creative director. I interview the customers, understanding their passions and hobbies. Then I work with Ken to figure out how we can translate that into artwork that works as a fire pit panel.
14. When are you the most inspired / what’s your favorite time of day to work? I like to go in at the end of the day when things are slower and the day is coming to an end.
15. Which artists inspire you? I like Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, and I enjoy finding other people’s art — completely unknown folks — who manage to create some amazing stuff and post it on the internet. There’s a lot of folks out there that are super talented and don’t have a following or anything like that but I stumble across them and I’m always impressed.
16. What do you listen to when you work? It’s hard to listen to much with the noise of the shop, so I guess the voices in my head, or whatever song is stuck in there at the time.
17. What are your thoughts on being an artist in Rutland? I’m just a guy who knows how to weld and had some great resources at my fingertips. I’ll let others consider me an artist if they wish, and provide their thoughts.
18. What’s your earliest memory of making art in Rutland? Well, at like age 6 I think I was in the Herald for making Easter eggs. I was about a half dozen away from cutting my ear off.
19. Why do you think artists are attracted to Rutland? Why is anyone attracted to Rutland? In a normal year, it has a vibrant downtown, awesome farmers market, 15 minutes to great skiing, an amazing sense of community. What’s not to love!
20. Which arts organizations in town are you involved with and how has it impacted you? I get to mingle with a few artists at the Mint and have learned a lot from them, but I’m not really that “in” on the art crowd. My day job is more video calls and spreadsheets …
21. What’s your favorite art exhibit/project you’ve seen in Rutland? I love the murals around town. Every one of them makes me feel like Rutland is a little bigger than it really is. Such talent in the design of those!
22. What would you like to see for the future of the arts in Rutland? My hope and goal is to see all of the area thrive, not necessarily just the arts. It’s cool to see the murals painted and the sculptures that have come in, there seems to be a strong sense of community within the downtown that’s helping all — the tide raises all boats.
Click to view all the “22 Questions With” artists. Check back regularly for more!