Flatfork Studio artists carve out their place in Austin

Faith Schexnayder and her husband John, share a building where the run Flatfork Studio and Action Screen Graphics.
Faith Schexnayder and her husband John, share a building where the run Flatfork Studio and Action Screen Graphics.

Faith Schexnayder and her husband John, share a building where the run Flatfork Studio and Action Screen Graphics.

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Flatfork Studio restored this dinosaur Santa Claus. (Courtesy Flatfork Studio)
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Faith Schexnayder and her husband, John, share a building where they run Flatfork Studio and Action Screen Graphics.
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Flatfork Studio is creating an elf shoe for the holidays. (Darcy Sprague/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Flatfork Studio resorted six frogs that originally were located on top of a Dallas bar. They were then moved to a Chuy's in Tennessee. (Courtesy Flatfork Studio)
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The Flatfork studio team at the Texas field. (Courtesy Flatfork Studio)
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In 2016, Flatfork Studio created a large armadillo, which they brought around town to some of Austin's now iconic locations. (Courtesy Flatfork Studio)
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This three-foot donuts was created for Maybelle's donuts in San Antonio. (Courtesy Flatfork Studio)
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Flatfork Studio created this chicken sandwich, which topped a Church's Chicken truck. (Courtesy Flatfork Studio)
Many Austinites have seen Flatfork Studio’s work without realizing it.

Its art takes the form of installations at the Austin Trail of Lights, an 8-foot-long armadillo that made its way around downtown in 2016, a human-sized sandwich that rotated among coffee shops and more.

Faith Schexnayder, owner and director, and Ryan Day, production manager and lead fabricator, of the studio are trained in traditional mediums such as painting and sculpting, but they make their mark on Austin’s bar, restaurant and events scene through giant foam fabrications.

“There’s not a lot of jobs out there for people with ours, so we have to kind of carve our own niche,” Schexnayder said.

Schexnayder was creating scenes for plays when she first saw someone carving a giant sculpture.


“I saw that and I just was like, ‘this is going to be the rest of my life,’” Schexnayder said. “So 20 years later, I’m still doing it. As an artist, if you are going to make it a job, to make a living, you have to reinvent yourself from time to time.”

The pair, along with a small team, are now responsible for dozens of projects that have appeared at South by Southwest Conference & Festivals, the Austin Trail of Lights and at local businesses.

They create their own projects, such as a skull at Gibson Street Bar; collaborate with other artists on projects such as the Couch Potatoes fabrication that is now at Circuit of The Americas; and restore older works, such as six 10-foot-tall frogs at a Chuy’s in Nashville.

“We love what we do,” Schexnayder said. “You know, I like to get up every morning. And that’s what gets me [to Flatfork] every day. We work with great friends and great folks.”


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