Park Profiles: Meet Frank Casciani!

Veronica AllendeBalboa Park Cultural Partnership, One Park - One Team, Park Profiles

Frank Casciani is the President of the Spanish Village Art Center and is the artist behind Designs In Shell, in Studio 14, specializing in eggshell art. He has been a member of Spanish Village for 18 years, and his unique eggshell art has fascinated everyone from Balboa Park tourists to the Dalai Lama. Frank’s care and detail is notable towards both his art and towards the visitors of the Spanish Village Art Center.

1. How did you begin working at the Spanish Village Art Center?

I was first introduced to Spanish Village when I was walking through the Park and was intrigued by the hands on approach here, which was something I wanted to have with my eggs. I have been an artist here since 2000, but it was not until 2008 that I finally got my studio space.

2. What do you like most about working with eggs and your specific art?

There is just something about an egg. It is the beginning of creation, and the shape and feel in your hands of eggs is very distinct. I have been working with eggs for 29 years, and my favorite kind of work I do with them is creating kaleidoscopes.

3. What is the most interesting part about working with the various artists in the Village?

There is a great sense of community; the other artists are always there to help each other find solutions for problems they encounter in their art. Working with the artists in Spanish Village also gives me the chance to learn new techniques and to collaborate. I have collaborated with at least a dozen artists here, and frequently with Charlotte Ibach from Studio 10, who works with wood.

  1.     Any advice in working with visitors?

We have visitors from all over the world, as well as, local San Diegans, so it is important to treat everyone with equal respect and acknowledge everyone who comes into your studio. I also think explaining your process and engaging visitors with your art is the best way to help them understand it.

  1.     What do you like to do outside of working here in the Park?

I love gardening! I have a semi horticultural background and grow orchids. I also enjoy taking care of my large koi pond in my garden.  I love kaleidoscopes, and have over 400 kaleidoscopes around my house. Lastly, I do a lot of mentoring with the gay youth housing association at the San Diego LGBTQ Community Center.

  1.     Favorite song, TV show, movie?

My favorite song is You Will Never Walk Alone by my favorite singer/entertainer Judy Garland. My favorite TV show is I Love Lucy, and I am a big fan of sitcoms. Lastly, my favorite movie is A Star is Born.

  1.     What is your favorite piece of Art and/or who Artist?

My favorite artist, and also my mentor, is Janice Chesnik who creates beautiful Kaleidoscopes. My favorite piece of art is actually one of my own, which is the Liberty Egg I created for 9/11.

  1.   If given the change, what job would you like to have for the day?

I would still like to be an artist, but maybe try a different form of art because there are endless possibilities in art!

  1.     What is your favorite spot in Balboa Park?

The Rose Garden. It is a beautiful place to sit and be with your thoughts, and the roses are beautiful when they are in bloom.