Blogs Centerpoints Eavesdrop

A View from Three Feet Up: Eavesdropping on a Sculpture Garden tour

  Out in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden recently, I tagged along with a gaggle of field-tripping preschoolers from various day care centers in White Bear Lake. Following are outtakes from their spirited debates about the artistic representation of animals in the Garden. Kim, the group’s intrepid tour guide, started the conversation: “What do you think you’ll […]

 

Octopus, lion, giraffe, or spider: Which inspired Mark di Suvero's "Arikidea"?

Out in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden recently, I tagged along with a gaggle of field-tripping preschoolers from various day care centers in White Bear Lake. Following are outtakes from their spirited debates about the artistic representation of animals in the Garden.

Kim, the group’s intrepid tour guide, started the conversation: “What do you think you’ll see in the garden today?”

“I think we’ll see a cherry and spoon,” quipped Bella, 5, showing off copious advance research.

Jake, 4, stated that he had seen some dragonflies in his backyard recently.

“I’m three!” shouted Aiden, 3, before telling everyone to be quiet.

Kim moved the group into the Cowles Conservatory, past the fragrant Madagascar jasmines and New Guinea impatiens and into the exhibit space with Frank Gehry’s Standing Glass Fish. “Can anyone tell me what they think of when they see this sculpture?” she asked.

“It’s flopping its way out,” said Caden, 5.

“He got one tail,” explained George, 2.

“What is this fish made of?” asked Kim.

“Likeable stuff,” answered Zander, 3.

Kim nodded in agreement. She told a story of Gehry’s grandmother, who used to come home from the market with a live fish and let it swim in the bathtub until dinnertime. That’s why Gehry likes to make art look like fish, she explained.

Continuing into the outdoor garden, Kim stopped the group at Deborah Butterfield’s Woodrow. “What do you think this animal is?” she asked.

Hannah was certain it was a giraffe. Multiple votes were cast for a deer. Someone suggested it was a moose. Kim shook her head. “Any more guesses?”

“It’s a giraffe,” said Aiden.

Kim provided a hint: “It’s something you might find on a ranch or farm.” A debate followed regarding the constitutions of horses and cows. An agreement was reached. Horse.

The group migrated to see Mark di Suvero’s Arikidea, which Kim alleged to be another animal—but what kind?

“It’s an octopus, because it has lots of legs,” said Nick, 6. Caden thought it had a head like a lion. Aiden thought it was a giraffe. Hannah guessed correctly: a spider.

Seven of the children climbed onto Arikidea’s giant platform and got a push on the swing. Joni, the day’s organizer, brought out her camera. Bella instantly flashed a movie-star grin, displaying missing front teeth.

Responding to an inquiry from Aiden, Kim expressed regret over the paucity of elephants in the garden.

“Can we go see a giraffe?” he asked in reply. Kim looked apologetic.

 

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LOVE PREVAILS

In cold and barren February, we notice the Sun’s brilliance burning a little longer into the afternoon, hinting at the warmth peeking just (months) around the corner.  Similarly, in the sometimes austere and modernist environs of the Walker Art Center, a passionate heat churns just beneath the surface.  Is it possible to fertilize the seeds […]

In cold and barren February, we notice the Sun’s brilliance burning a little longer into the afternoon, hinting at the warmth peeking just (months) around the corner.  Similarly, in the sometimes austere and modernist environs of the Walker Art Center, a passionate heat churns just beneath the surface.  Is it possible to fertilize the seeds of love at the Walker?  It’s possible, and evidence abounds.  Take, for example, this article describing James Turrell’s Sky Pesher as the best make out spot in town.  Kissing in the surrounds of ‘pigmented cast concrete?’  Very steamy.  One should take note, however, of the security camera watching every move.  No matter.  An adventurous lover knows that eyes are always watching, yet she boldly proceeds. 

Meet Ellie, one such bold adventurer.  The object of her affections is the roguish Scotty.  Her family-approved plan (Dad accompanied) was to ask Scotty to her high school’s Sadie Hawkins dance during a visit to the Walker.  Ellie had prepared a sign for her beau, a masterpiece worthy of the Louvre which implored, “Sweet Hearts? With Me, My Scotty” (sic).  Ellie presented me the sign to me in the snowy afternoon, asking where she could hang it. 

My colleagues and I discussed the matter,  chose a suitable place, and the sign was hung.  It was decided that I document the event, so I lay in wait for the magic moment. 

 

The tension was immense.  The unwitting Scotty approached and…

YES

 

Love prevails.

 

Note: Scotty was surprised by Ellie’s sign, but even more surprised by my prescence.  I explained, “I…uh.  I have to do this for work,”  then quickly fled.  Tender moments, cherished forever.

eavesdrop 07.15.08

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7GadXJLcJ0[/youtube] Sights, sounds and, if you press your nose really close to the screen, smells from the opening night of the Walker’s Summer Music & Movies series, with music from The Alarmists. The series continues every Monday, in Loring Park, through August 18.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7GadXJLcJ0[/youtube]

Sights, sounds and, if you press your nose really close to the screen, smells from the opening night of the Walker’s Summer Music & Movies series, with music from The Alarmists. The series continues every Monday, in Loring Park, through August 18.

eavesdrop 07.02.08

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5eHlW2AQgs[/youtube] Without a vehicle like “American Idol” to discover the next great voice-over talent, programmers at the Walker turned to their own colleagues to pluck the voice for upcoming radio spots to promote the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Ocean. Here’s a glimpse from the casting couch at Wednesday’s auditions.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5eHlW2AQgs[/youtube]

Without a vehicle like “American Idol” to discover the next great voice-over talent, programmers at the Walker turned to their own colleagues to pluck the voice for upcoming radio spots to promote the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s Ocean. Here’s a glimpse from the casting couch at Wednesday’s auditions.

eavesdrop 06.19.08

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3y6mtzYlgw[/youtube] For 15 years or thereabouts, the Walker Art Center’s frame shop has held a one-day sale, open only to staffers, to clean house of the dozens of hand-built frames from exhibitions past that are no longer usable. The latest was Wednesday — and my first here on staff — and I was stunned to […]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3y6mtzYlgw[/youtube]

For 15 years or thereabouts, the Walker Art Center’s frame shop has held a one-day sale, open only to staffers, to clean house of the dozens of hand-built frames from exhibitions past that are no longer usable. The latest was Wednesday — and my first here on staff — and I was stunned to see loads of sturdy, elegant wood frames of varied sizes for less than $10. Bargain-conscious staffers streamed into the Cinema, cash in hand, when the doors to the Walker Cinema opened at 10 am (My rookie move: Leaving my wallet at my desk). The smallest frames, which are the most functional and practical on living room walls, were the first to go. Some staffers horded a dozen or more, squirreling them into a corner to measure them, before committing to the all-sales-are-final buy.

eavesdrop 06.17.08

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qsLHOgMl0o[/youtube] The Walker Art Center isn’t just a home for the best in contemporary art — it’s also available for rent. One tenant is the annual Push Institute Conference. PUSH 2008 (tagline: “The Fertile Delta”) attracted business leaders, politicians, artists, economists and others for two of inspiration and future-gazing. The conference — or at least […]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qsLHOgMl0o[/youtube]

The Walker Art Center isn’t just a home for the best in contemporary art — it’s also available for rent. One tenant is the annual Push Institute Conference. PUSH 2008 (tagline: “The Fertile Delta”) attracted business leaders, politicians, artists, economists and others for two of inspiration and future-gazing. The conference — or at least the opening-night party — also attracted the intervention of Art for the People / Art on Wheels, a new course at the University of Minnesota led by Ali Momeni.

Look for Momeni and his students to roll-and-show somewhere during the 2008 Republican National Convention, through The UnConvention.

Eavesdrop 06.16.08

Former Walker director (and now director emeritus) Martin Friedman and his wife, Mickey, were at a reception in their honor Friday afternoon at the Gallery 8 Cafe. Just before the mass of staff poured in for free wine and crackers, Martin Friedman discussed his interactions 20 years ago with artists placing their works in the […]

Former Walker director (and now director emeritus) Martin Friedman and his wife, Mickey, were at a reception in their honor Friday afternoon at the Gallery 8 Cafe. Just before the mass of staff poured in for free wine and crackers, Martin Friedman discussed his interactions 20 years ago with artists placing their works in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Friedman also talks here with Deborah Butterfield, who was also at the reception, about her work in the garden, Woodrow (1988).

eavesdrop 05.27.08

[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=qPce12kb0Fk[/youtube] Swing into the opening party for Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf. The course is open through Labor Day.

eavesdrop 05.07.08

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aIa3JyddbQ[/youtube] Performances of Trisha Brown’s Planes happen on the half-hour between 11 am to 2 pm Saturday and 6 to 9 pm Thursday, in the Walker’s Medtronic Gallery, through the run of the exhibition of Brown’s drawings, So That the Audience Does Not Know Whether I Have Stopped Dancing. Here, three dancers perform at May’s […]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aIa3JyddbQ[/youtube]

Performances of Trisha Brown’s Planes happen on the half-hour between 11 am to 2 pm Saturday and 6 to 9 pm Thursday, in the Walker’s Medtronic Gallery, through the run of the exhibition of Brown’s drawings, So That the Audience Does Not Know Whether I Have Stopped Dancing. Here, three dancers perform at May’s Free First Saturday (about a dozen are on rotation in this trio) and, afterward, discuss the work.

eavesdrop 05.05.08

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqfdIeUl_r4[/youtube] The Walker unrolled its first Jewelry Artists Mart, in the Skyline Room, at Free First Saturday.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqfdIeUl_r4[/youtube]

The Walker unrolled its first Jewelry Artists Mart, in the Skyline Room, at Free First Saturday.

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