Blogs Field Guide

Family Adventures: 2011 in Review

From the organized chaos of Free First Saturday to the eloquent discoveries of Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate, it has been quite a year in Family Programs at the Walker.  With each event carefully orchestrated by the devoted Walker staff I am reminded of the incredible company that surrounds me, working hard to provide an unmatched contemporary art adventure to kids and their […]

From the organized chaos of Free First Saturday to the eloquent discoveries of Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate, it has been quite a year in Family Programs at the Walker.  With each event carefully orchestrated by the devoted Walker staff I am reminded of the incredible company that surrounds me, working hard to provide an unmatched contemporary art adventure to kids and their parents in the community.

Highlights from Free First Saturday include the Animation Station, a Free First Saturday activity led by Schell Hickel and Katie Maren.  Kids sculpted their own characters out of clay and put them to work in their own stop-motion animation.  In April Robin Schwartzman’s sculptural play space was set up for kids to interact with in the activity Jump On In!, an event accompanied by a slapstick puppet performanceChris Larson joined the kids in the Art Lab hot-gluing wooden structures for a project reminiscent of his piece in the Spectacular Vernacular exhibition.  July teemed with hip hop splendor during a full day of dance workshops led by Kenna Camara-Cottman, beat boxing, and graffiti demonstrations.  The summer culminated in a memorable LARP (Live Action Role Playing) battle on the field, featuring an exclusive visit by the Corporate Wizard, an event planned in conjunction with the Soap Factory.  Amanda Lovelee joined us for a day of community building in early Autumn, teaching us not to hesitate to meet our neighbor in a square dancing bonanza on Open Field.  October began with a bang when the Bakken Museum came to show kids how to construct rockets and build electric circuits while November and December were all about performance and design, Kaleena Miller and company performing the vibrant, tap dancing piece, Fleet and Kindra Murphy teaching the kids a thing or two about typeface design.

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Art Beyond the Refrigerator

  I’ve amassed an overwhelming amount of my kids’ art projects over the years and in particular around the holidays. Any parent knows about the rotating collection of drawings held on the fridge door with magnets, paintings taped up on walls, or mobiles hanging from windowsills. The artworks slip into the trash or a keepsake […]

 

I’ve amassed an overwhelming amount of my kids’ art projects over the years and in particular around the holidays. Any parent knows about the rotating collection of drawings held on the fridge door with magnets, paintings taped up on walls, or mobiles hanging from windowsills. The artworks slip into the trash or a keepsake box as soon as the next masterpiece comes through the door. It’s sad that these artworks aren’t on display longer or for larger audiences. 

One creative family figured out a way to share their youngster’s artwork with family and friends in a more lasting way.  They turned their grandchild’s art works into photo cards to send during the holidays!   It’s never too late to get started on next year’s holiday projects.

 

This art project started with colored tissue paper laid on watercolor paper. The tissue paper is then painted with water. The tissue paper bled onto the watercolor paper and created a wonderful mix of colors.

 

 

This art-making project was created with food coloring. A few drops of food coloring on wet watercolor paper created a mash of colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Walker is very lucky to have such creative and hands-on parents, grandparents, and care-givers that are invested in raising creative kids. If you have any ideas to share, please post a comment. It would be great to hear your ideas.

 

 

A Useful and Beautiful Past

A friend of mine recently bought a house in North Minneapolis. In the process of renovating her attic closet, she tore out the old insulation and found… newspapers from the 1940′s. One intact newspaper section was the “Women’s News, Theater, Art, Books” from the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, dated December 1, 1946. Filling the entire front page of […]

A friend of mine recently bought a house in North Minneapolis. In the process of renovating her attic closet, she tore out the old insulation and found… newspapers from the 1940′s. One intact newspaper section was the “Women’s News, Theater, Art, Books” from the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, dated December 1, 1946. Filling the entire front page of this section is an article on the Walker Art Center titled “Useful and Beautiful (Christmas Gifts for Harried Husbands).”

The Everyday Art Gallery at the Walker created a display of hundreds of useful and beautiful Christmas gifts, procured from 16 local retailers. The items are primarily focused on things for the home, everything from lamps and tables to crepes suzette pans and salt and pepper shakers.

So as you’re perusing the Walker Shop  for your last minute holiday gifts, take a look at what it was like here 65 years ago.

For more info on these exhibitions: From the Archives – 1946-1960: “Useful Gifts” vs. “china frankfurter mustard pots”

 

 

A Push to Perform: Free First Saturday December

The savory aroma of melted butter and delicately seared cheese permeated the Cargill Lounge during Free First Saturday this month triggering fond childhood memories.  Chef Josh Brown of Gather was demonstrating the art of assembling the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.  The demonstration was so satisfying that I immediately made plans to make my own batch […]

The savory aroma of melted butter and delicately seared cheese permeated the Cargill Lounge during Free First Saturday this month triggering fond childhood memories.  Chef Josh Brown of Gather was demonstrating the art of assembling the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.  The demonstration was so satisfying that I immediately made plans to make my own batch at home accompanied, of course, by a bowl of homemade tomato soup.  What a treat to indulge in something so warm and comforting as the days grow shorter and colder advancing toward the depths of a Minnesota winter.  Not to worry, there is always Free First Saturday to look forward to.

The day was all about performance and design.  With the Dance Works I: Merce Cunningham/Robert Rauschenberg exhibition in full swing and Graphic Design: Now in Production radiating through the Target and Friedman galleries it was the perfect time to be inspired by the two.  Xiong Lor was in the Art Lab heading a costume-making activity called Costume Collage wherein kids constructed their own performance attire out of fabric scraps and paper, an activity inspired by Robert Rauschenberg.  It was amusing to spot parents and their kids sporting their new accessories as they moved through each exhibition. 

Brittany Shrimpton led a movement activity in Gallery 8 based on Cunningham’s “chance” dances, choosing a word or theme out of a hat to determine the dancers’ next move.  Young dancers flailed their arms smoothly and slowly as if floating in outer space or jerked their bodies stiffly as if their limbs were being pricked by cactus spines.

The Walker was bursting with activities.  Red Grooms’ Target Discount Store 1970, a vintage film from the collection, was being screened in the cinema accompanied by a scavenger hunt about the film.  Kids were learning the basics of typography design in Target Gallery by designing their own typeface and placing their work in a tiny model of the gallery.  Merce Cunningham Research Fellow Abi Sebaly was positioned in the Medtronic Gallery to share conservation and cataloguing techniques that were used on the Cunningham Acquisitions costumes and sets.  It was a truly delicious and inspired event. 

Costume Collage

About Looking: When to Unleash Your Third Eye

It’s all too easy to think there’s a singular, definitive meaning for every object on view in a museum, and it’s our job as museum-goers to figure it out. When you can’t glean information from a wall label or speak directly with the artist, curator, or tour guide, you will likely feel dumbfounded and intellectually […]

It’s all too easy to think there’s a singular, definitive meaning for every object on view in a museum, and it’s our job as museum-goers to figure it out. When you can’t glean information from a wall label or speak directly with the artist, curator, or tour guide, you will likely feel dumbfounded and intellectually inadequate, especially when looking at contemporary art. It’s moments like these when you simply long for a morsel of information to begin to understand the art. (I’m speaking from personal experience.)

Nowadays it’s easy enough to look up information on your hand-held device, but imagine if you were left with only your eyes and mind to shape an intuitive response to a work of art. Imagine that even if you had no way of ever knowing about the artist’s original intent, you could still have a profound experience with an object because you were fully tapped into how your feelings and energy were connected to it. Think about it, isn’t this is how we size up strangers all the time? Without ever having a conversation we begin to shape a judgement of another person based on our intuitive reading of them.

Some of us are better at listening to our inner voice than others. I bet that the intuitively gifted might be able to ascertain meanings with their eyes closed. Does this mean you’re a psychic?

Intuitive experts, Krystal Krunch, a.k.a. Asher Hartman and Haruko Tanaka, do not claim to by psychics. However, they seem like they’re in touch with their psychic potential and they claim they can teach others to achieve a deeper awareness using the five senses. I will try to keep my inner skeptic at bay on January 5th when attending the Krystal Krunch tour and workshop, because who knows, with an open mind I might learn a whole new way of seeing art, others, and the world around me.

 

Krystal Krunch: Frequently Asked Questions

Tell me more about the Never Been to Me Tour?

The program is in 2 parts. First you’ll have fun in a workshop that will jump start your intuition and then we will all march down to Midnight Party and ‘see’ the exhibition with our third eyes.

What will happen in the workshop?

In the workshop you will learn how to give and receive an intuitive reading. You will see and be seen in a way that you’ve never experienced before! You’ll hear reflections about who you are beneath the surface and you’ll be able to do that for another person. The takeaway is a connection to human beings that goes beyond the surface, appearance, common interests, and affiliations. You will enter the magic of another human universe.

First we will introduce you to some simple and practical exercises to relax and expand your awareness of the five senses. Then we will help you open your awareness of your intuition. You will be guided through a non-denominational meditation designed to uplift your spirts and serve those you love. We’ll show you the chakra system in the body and take you through simple exercises to see through the charka system into the energy of a partner you’ll either come with or someone you’ll pair off with. Everybody is embarrassed at first but it quickly becomes a warm and connected experience.

We will then head down to the exhibition and we’ll experience it psychically with our eyes closed- responding to the images in our mind’s eye and the feelings we get from the objects.

Krystal Krunch's "Dreaming the Body Politic" workshop at The Hammer Musem. Photo credit: Marianne Williams

I’m not psychic, how can I really do this?

We’re not psychic either. We’re intuitives. Everyone has intuition. We just need to learn to listen to it.

I don’t have a partner and I’m a shy person, will I feel awkward and out of place?

We hope not. Krystal Krunch provides a supportive, warm, laugh-filled environment that acknowledges everyone’s trepidation.

I’ve seen Ghost Hunters, are we dealing with the paranormal?

We watch Ghost Hunters too, but no, we are dealing with the very normal. We are looking into our hearts and eyes and seeing our inner selves. Most of us have never really been ‘seen’ by another person. It is thrilling to be acknowledged for your innate gifts and strengths in all their limitless possibility. And it is doubly rewarding to be able to give that to another. It is just as, if not more, exhilarating as ghost hunting.

I’m not psychic. How do I know I can do this?

If you’re a human you can do this! Come with an open mind, a loving heart and availability and you will have a valuable experience.

Will my dirty secrets be known?

If you whisper it to us clearly and slowly.

What if I hear something I don’t like?

Giving and receiving an intuitive reading is a collaborative process. As the giver, you give what you feel. As the listener, you stay open and available to the reader. Listen with an open heart, take the information home with you, and let it unfold over time. You’ll be surprised what you discover.

Is this appropriate for children?

No. The workshop and tour is for people 17 years and older.

Are Krystal Krunch licensed hypno-therapists/mental health counselors?

No. We are 2 artists who use our intuition to bring people closer together.

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Krystal Krunch (aka Asher Hartman and Haruko Tanaka) is a duo of artist intuitives who see and respond to energy in the body, the psyche, and architectural spaces. They are dedicated to using intuitive reading to help people come in contact with their highest and best potential, discovering who they really are so that they might approach their lives and others with compassion, self-love, and wonder. Krystal Krunch debuted in 2007 with TnT Explosive Advice: the 10 minute takeover at High Energy Constructs in L.A.’s Chinatown where they gave 10 minute intuitive readings to gallery visitors. They have since developed and presented numerous intuition building workshops including Dreaming the Invisible Body Politic at The Hammer Museum, Zero Max: Turning your trash into gold at the Eagle Rock Arts Center, Lovereflections Machine Project and Seeing Beyond Speech with students at Pomona College, Loyola Marymount University, California Institute of the Arts, and SPACES in Cleveland, Ohio.

Asher Hartman is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice centers on the exploration of the self in relation to Western histories and ideologies. Hartman’s work has been exhibited extensively including at The Hammer Museum, Whitney Biennial in collaboration with Curious Notch and Charles Long, the Beijing Open Performance Festival, The Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila), Recontres International (Paris/Berlin), MIX/NYC and Migrating Forms (New York), London Underground Film Fest and Images (Toronto) and in a number of Los Angeles venues including numerous exhibitions at Machine Project, LACE, Sea and Space Exhibitions, Monte Vista Projects, Track 16, Highways Performance Space, and Human Resources. www.asherhartman.com

 Haruko Tanaka is an interdisciplinary artist whose artistic practice ranges from photography, film/video, and installation, to relational collaborative events and workshops. Her passion lies in the translation and transmission of intangible cultural treasures. Her work has been screened and exhibited in such places as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Asian American International Film Festival at Asia Society, the Museum of Modern Art, the Japanese American National Museum, the CUE Art Foundation, and Sea & Space Explorations. Her collaborative relational events and workshops have taken place at South Central Farms in South Los Angeles, Crazyspace, the Hammer Museum, Machine Project, and SPACES in Cleveland, Ohio.
www.kissoftheworld.net



 

 

 

Emotive Dance and Design: Free First Saturday November

November Free First Saturday was a lively day of dance and design.  Every Walker crevice seemed to be animated with an energy only stir-crazy children and parents have the ability to produce. In the Cargill Lounge Megan Leafblad was leading Storefront, a pop-up shop art activity, encouraging participants to design a vessel for an imaginary object. […]

November Free First Saturday was a lively day of dance and design.  Every Walker crevice seemed to be animated with an energy only stir-crazy children and parents have the ability to produce.

In the Cargill Lounge Megan Leafblad was leading Storefront, a pop-up shop art activity, encouraging participants to design a vessel for an imaginary object.  Box after box was produced and the shop shelves were filled with one imaginary product after another.  Some were shiny and cubed, others resembled brightly-colored spaceships with protruding tentacles.  The lounge was an imagination factory producing the priceless, uninhibited creativity of children.  

Kaleena Miller and company performed Fleet in the cinema, a high-energy, vibrantly-colored piece performed by a throng of talented, athletic dancers.  The highly emotional work choreographed by Miller was originally commissioned by the Walker and performed at the Southern Theatre as part of the “Momentum: New Dance Works 2011″ series in July.  Audience members sat in awe as the tapping, stomping and swinging dancers electrified the stage.

Downstairs in the Art Lab designer Kindra Murphy led Print Type, an activity inspired by Karel Martens, founder of the Werkplaats Typografie design school in the Netherlands.  Kids chose from buckets of spongy shapes to form their own letters and words, an exercise in typography design. 

 Join us next month for yet another Free First Saturday for the ages.

 

Pop-Up Shop Product Design in Cargill

Slab Angel makes an appearance

Here it is, the “Slab Angel,” hand crafted by Walker Tour Guides in an epic bronze pour at Vesper College on November 2. The piece will be on view and for sale at the Vesper College holiday sale and show December 2.

Here it is, the “Slab Angel,” hand crafted by Walker Tour Guides in an epic bronze pour at Vesper College on November 2.


The piece will be on view and for sale at the Vesper College holiday sale and show December 2.

They call us fearless: Tour Guides rediscover the Bronze Age

A Walker Tour Guide field trip (November 2) to Vesper college for a bronze pour was a gas.  Many of us expected a tame demonstration that we could photograph from a safe distance. But no, the evening was to be participatory learning at its most adventuresome: we made the molds, and what’s more, we poured […]

A Walker Tour Guide field trip (November 2) to Vesper college for a bronze pour was a gas.  Many of us expected a tame demonstration that we could photograph from a safe distance. But no, the evening was to be participatory learning at its most adventuresome: we made the molds, and what’s more, we poured the bronze.

The college, a niche institution that grants MFAs in Ecological Architecture, is located in a repurposed brick telephone building off East Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. Dan Noyes, its director, and assistant Heidi Sime issued goggles and gloves and showed us how to use power tools, chisels and hammers. With these tools and in a spirit of experimentation and cooperation, we chipped a pitted figure (already outlined) a la Giacometti into the wooden boards that served as a mold for our “slab angel.”

Two of us were summoned outside where a small but fiery furnace, shooting blue flames out its sides, brought the metal to a formidable 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. We received a quick lesson on handling a hot, heavy crucible with a three-foot long set of two-man tongs that could hook the pot, clamp it, and transport it to the mold. We also received helmets, leather leg gaiters and giant gloves as well as the urgent advice to move quickly but smoothly and under no circumstances, to drop the crucible.

When the mold was ready, Dan pulled off the furnace’s cover and sidewall to reveal the fabled crucible and its contents of superheated molten bronze. The thing looked dark, dangerous and hotter than Hades, but we managed to snare the container, lift it, move it, and tip its load of liquified metal into the wooden mold, which immediately burst into yellow flames. Dan doused them with sand; we set the empty crucible down and unclamped the tongs.

Later the mold, partly gone but still holding its hardening lump of bronze, went into a wood fire (only 800 degrees) until the mold was burned up.  Feeling somewhat surprised and mightily pleased at our hands-on mold-making and bronze-casting achievements, we sat around the fire, feasting on grapes, camembert, truffles and wine, all provided by our hosts. Heidi says the finished piece will be on view at “Scarpa’s Holiday Sale/Show” Friday, December 2 from 5 to 9 pm at Vesper College, 201 6th Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.

Small Illuminations: October Free First Saturday

October Free First Saturday was a day of transformative tinkering, rocket launching and small illuminations.   Staff members from The Bakken Museum were in the Cargill Lounge showing kids how to construct rockets out of construction paper, illuminate small light bulbs with AA batteries and a few wires, and build the slowest ramp possible using a […]

October Free First Saturday was a day of transformative tinkering, rocket launching and small illuminations.   Staff members from The Bakken Museum were in the Cargill Lounge showing kids how to construct rockets out of construction paper, illuminate small light bulbs with AA batteries and a few wires, and build the slowest ramp possible using a slab of peg board, wooden dowels and rubber bands.  Kids crowded each station making wide-eyed discoveries and turning to look each time a newly constructed rocket was put to the test, the launching machine emmitting a loud “HONK” with every try.

Nearby in the U.S. Bank Orientation Lounge The Lost Thing was playing, a short film directed by Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann.  A beautifully animated film, it illustrates the interaction between a young man and a creature he encounters while out walking and the adventure the two of them take when the man sets out to find where the unusual creature belongs. 

In the Art Lab Ilene Krug Mojsilov led an art activity encouraging participants to begin with one object and change it into something completely new.  Kids and parents were hard at work hot-gluing,  cutting and constructing new object upon new object.  The room was teeming with imaginative inventions of all kinds.

Families Design Their Rockets for Launch

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Chicago International Children’s Film Festival: Day 3

I cannot recall watching a feature length documentary in the 5 years I have been coming to the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, but today I decide to get jiggy with it! I mean Jig as in Irish Dance. This documentary had a bit if buzz among the programmer, so I thought would check it […]

I cannot recall watching a feature length documentary in the 5 years I have been coming to the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, but today I decide to get jiggy with it! I mean Jig as in Irish Dance. This documentary had a bit if buzz among the programmer, so I thought would check it out. It’s risky to watch something that is 90 minutes long because there is the chance that you might not be able to use it in a program. In 90 minutes could easily watch 9 animated shorts or 6 live action shorts. So at first I was hesitant, but I had a blast! This film look at the lives of a few youngsters in the UK, Ireland, Europe, and the Untied State who’s dream is to win the world championship of Irish Dancing World Championship.  

The rest of my day was spent working through some fantastic films by French animators. There was passion, romance, chivalry, beauty, poetry, and I could go on, but it’s more fun to watch. Director Michel Ocelot films were a mixture of vintage and new.

Another programmer and I spent a bit of time arguing about the fate of the elephant in the short 7 tonnes 2

And again, the stories of love. The fleeting…

and a love that can drives us to change the world.

Tomorrow is the last day. Yikes! Better get working on my viewing list.

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