Blogs Field Guide General

A First-Timer’s Take on Open Field (2014)

Born and raised in Minneapolis, it is rather unsettling to me that I had never experienced the magic of Open Field before this year. Lucky for me, the Field welcomed me – the intern – with open arms and heart and it didn’t take long for me to feel at home within all its chaos […]

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Born and raised in Minneapolis, it is rather unsettling to me that I had never experienced the magic of Open Field before this year. Lucky for me, the Field welcomed me – the intern – with open arms and heart and it didn’t take long for me to feel at home within all its chaos and beauty.

Open Field knows how to do it big. 

We set a Guinness world record, made a salad and shared it with 274 people, and hosted a Cat Video Festival that attracted over 9,000 kitty fanatics. But we also know that the more intimate is just as valuable. Open Field offers a place and a time that allows us to connect, create, and explore – together, of course.

This year, Fluxus-related activities took over the field.

Fluxus also serves as an appropriate metaphor for the field and its various happenings: seemingly random and disorderly, yet in specific ways orchestrated and controlled, with ample space for inspiration, improvisation, and spontaneity.

OF2014_100Scores_0731_03Look Sideways, Listen Close: 100 Scores for Open Field – Rachel Jendrzejewski

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Fluxus Running Club – Mike Haeg

OF2014_Baseball_07 (2) (1024x768)Play Catch, All Together – Chris Kallmyer

OF2014_Salad_0710_06 (2) (1024x768)Make A Salad – Alison Knowles

Open Field is a place where the line between being a casual spectator and an active participant is thinly drawn, and where one is always gracefully toeing both sides.

No matter where you stand at any given moment, there is always an opportunity to sit back and take it all in; but never as an outsider.

OF2014_Choreographers_0712_21 (2) (1024x768)4×4=100 Dancing Outside – Laurie Van Wieren

OF2014_ChopsInc_0703_06Anatomy of a Drum and Bugle Corps – Chops, Inc.

OF2014_StereoTrees_0719_04Stereo Trees – Areca Roe

OF2014_Compline_0720_4113Pesher Compline – Brian Dowdy

We cracked our knuckles before coercing and refining our creative skills.

OF2014_Cursive_02 (2) (768x1024)Cursive Writing for the Contemporary Artist – Alyssa Baguss and Jenni Undis

OF2014_AnimationCreation_0628_08Animation Creation Station – Peter Nelson and Michon Weeks

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Into the Blue: The World of Cyanotype – Nathan Lewis

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Drawing, Far Away So Close – Keith Braafladt and Margaret Pezalla

We stretched, expanded and exercised our minds and our bodies.

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Gorilla Yogis

OF2014_StarTrekYoga_0731_03Star Trek: A Narrated Yogic Adventure – Yoga Quest

Open Field was even edible.

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Get Soaked (With Local Muesli) – Karin Norby

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Take a Bite, Shape the State! – Presley Martin

In the midst of all of this, communities were formed and connections were discovered because Open Field offered a place to do some cool stuff and meet some cool people. I took part in Paige Tighe’s Walk With Me project, where I walked and talked with someone whom I may never have done so with otherwise. I also watched as strangers collectively played “Find Your Spot” with Scooper.

I got to spend this summer learning, growing, and making new friends, and watched as art and other such crazy experiments united interesting people. Open Field would in no way be possible alone or within a vacuum – it really is what we make together.

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Can I Have an Idea

MobileCartFamilyphoto!

MobileCartFamilyphoto!

The new Mobile Cart is just right for summer in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. On weekends, the grounds are teeming with visitors from all over the world. We’ve seen wedding guests dressed to the nines, families picnicking in front of Spoonbridge and Cherry, and mini golfers waiting for tee-times. Like our visitors, the Mobile Cart has a purpose for being outside.

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Designed for pop-up outdoor activities, the handsome and nimble cart reflects the genius of Museum Exhibit Designer Maria Mortati. It has a casual feel, like a food cart. In fact, someone tried to order ice cream from us! Seriously, people have approached us with practical questions concerning weddings, mini-golf, and the location of Garden Café, which contrary to its name, is inside the Walker Art Center.

The Mobile Cart is a magnet for visitors desiring more interaction with art and ideas.

A stop at the Mobile Cart outfits visitors with supplies for Can I Have an Idea, a hands-on drawing experience. This activity is loosely related to the exhibition Art Expanded currently on view at the Walker Art Center. Can I Have an Idea plays with decision-making and offers a simple direction for action. It resembles a musical score that comes alive when someone actually performs it.

Can I Have an Idea looks like this. There are 2 bins with instructions for drawing typed out on small paper cards. The first bin is labeled “Take an Idea and Make a Drawing.” It contains single directions, such as, “draw the nearest sculpture” and “spin around and draw a spiral.” The second bin, “Take 2 Ideas and Make 2 Drawings,” is for participants who appreciate experimentation.

The girl pictured below was eager to try as many ideas as possible.

Her grandma turned to me and said, “She’s from an arty family living in Winnipeg, Canada.”

This activity also intrigued two visitors from the Museo d’Arte Modernae Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto in Italy. Full disclosure, these museum educators asked to replicate Can I Have an Idea in their museum, and I gave them what they needed.

Closer to home, we’ve engaged families from the Twin Cities who were visiting the Garden for the first time. The presence of the Mobile Cart generated conversation about Family Programs and encouraged a number of families to return to Walker’s Free First Saturday offered throughout the year.

This summer, Yaneth Quintero, a STEP-UP Intern, hosted the Mobile Cart with me. She wraps up her internship at the Walker this week so  it’s appropriate to record her impressions about the Mobile Cart. When asked, she quickly replied, “I realized how much I miss drawing. When I was a child, I drew all the time.”

Ilene: What did you notice about the crowd?

Yaneth: There were many curious on-lookers. Young and old people approached us and loved the cart. Some even asked me if they were too old to participate! But, as Ilene says, ‘There’s no age limit to creativity’. They were eager to try out the scores; just draw!

Ilene: What did they want to know?

Yaneth: I had a multitude of people ask me when we’d be out with the cart again. Others asked about the Walker and were curious about activities happening inside the building. We were a mini info hub. I also got questions about the master mind behind the Mobile Cart or directions to places.

Ilene: How did they interact with the drawing activity?

Yaneth: Some people came to try out one score while others got deeper into it. They made more personal drawings based on their interpretations of the scores. Some just kept coming back for more ideas.

Ilene: Thanks, Yaneth, for being so attentive, welcoming and creative. Keep drawing!

 

A final Pesher Compline Performance – August 3rd

For the past two Sunday evenings, Sky Pesher has been filled with the melodic harmonies of compline set against a sunset backdrop. If you are unfamiliar with compline performance, check out choral director and musician Brian Dawdy‘s description and discussion on why he chose to bring compline to Sky Pesher. There’s no mistaking that this is a unique […]

For the past two Sunday evenings, Sky Pesher has been filled with the melodic harmonies of compline set against a sunset backdrop. If you are unfamiliar with compline performance, check out choral director and musician Brian Dawdy‘s description and discussion on why he chose to bring compline to Sky Pesher.

There’s no mistaking that this is a unique space in which to perform compline; with the sunlight waning, the humming melodies and play between silence and subtle sound become increasingly distinct and tangible. Entering and exiting one by one, meditating on each movement and sound, the performers invite audience members to sit and relax in peaceful contemplation.

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When: Sunday, August 3rd

Where: Sky Pesher (at the top of the hill)

What: A compline performance sung by 4 choral performers

 

Look Sideways, Listen Close: come together at Open Field

This Thursday, playwright and interdisciplinary artist Rachel Jendrzejewski  shares one hundred newly published Fluxus event scores written just for Open Field. In a program titled Look Sideways, Listen Close: 100 scores for Open Field, she invites participants to perform these  “playful prompts designed to sharpen senses and stoke imaginations” using a microphone, and a variety of props. The […]

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This Thursday, playwright and interdisciplinary artist Rachel Jendrzejewski  shares one hundred newly published Fluxus event scores written just for Open Field. In a program titled Look Sideways, Listen Close: 100 scores for Open Fieldshe invites participants to perform these  “playful prompts designed to sharpen senses and stoke imaginations” using a microphone, and a variety of props. The scores ask us to notice details (“Be with the clouds”, instructs Listening Event 1), and  approach old problems in new ways (“Full time salaries for independent artists, cut all the strings with scissors” reads Allocation Piece).  This call to imagination and attention fits perfectly with the evening’s other Open Field programming, which invite us to participate in similar ways: look  sideways, listen close; let your senses be sharpened and your imagination stoked.

Look sideways

Scooper the Clown

Scooper the Clown

With their program Drawing, Far Away So Close, artists Keith Braafladt and Margaret Pezalla take a new approach to drawing. The two encourage participants to use a microscope to draw the extremely small, then use a telescope to draw a scene placed far in the distance. Braafladt and Pezalla are both “fascinated with drawing and looking for the nearly invisible.” In another Thursday night program, Scooper the Clown invites your to play “Find Your Spot”, Scooper (Shannon Forney) explores the way a clown and her game might help you engage with your community. “Find Your Spot” points to commonalities between strangers: “Find your spot if you live in zip code 55403! Find your spot if you took public transportation today!” You might leave the field with a greater appreciation for your neighbors.

Listen Close

The Ericksons

The Ericksons

Bring an ipod of your favorite songs and transcend your fear of dancing in public thanks to Don’t You Feel It Too?, a project that is “the practice of freeing your spirit through dancing your inner life in public places.” Together we’ll dance on the field, listening close through our own set of headphones. Mindfulness: Be Here NowTM, a series of fifteen-minute meditations in Sky Pesher, encourages participants to listen close in another way, tuning into breath and the present moment. Close out the evening by listening to Acoustic Campfire with Lydia Liza (Bomba de Luz) and Eric Mayson (Crunchy Kids), followed by local folk favorites The Ericksons.

Let your senses be sharpened and your imaginations stoked

Star Trek Yoga Quest

With Star Trek: a narrated yogic adventure, Yoga Quest aims “to explore the power of storytelling and engage minds and bodies in a yogic adventure; to find ways to make wellness appealing to folks who otherwise wouldn’t engage with it.” While some like to bring their imaginations to life via Star Trek-themed yoga, others prefer games. Grown-up Club returns with more Recess Games, if you haven’t had a good dose of Kick the Can and Capture the Flag this summer. If you prefer a less action-packed activity, join the Drawing Club team at the picnic tables.

Find it at Open Field: Clothing + Story Swap

Introducing Asher Edes & Dan Hnilicka’s Clothing + Story Swap What memories are woven into your clothes? Are you ready to hand them on? Bring an item of clothing or an accessory you used to wear. You’ll be invited to scribble a story or drawing about its personal history onto a tag. Attach the tag, pin the […]

Clothing and Story Swap (1024x789)

Introducing Asher Edes & Dan Hnilicka’s Clothing + Story Swap

What memories are woven into your clothes? Are you ready to hand them on? Bring an item of clothing or an accessory you used to wear. You’ll be invited to scribble a story or drawing about its personal history onto a tag. Attach the tag, pin the garment to a clothesline on Open Field, and pick a garment and story that used to belong to a stranger to take home.

Aims to: Bring together strangers to swap used clothes and the stories that accompany them (through words or a drawing). Come to explore the blurring of personal identities when possessions are traded.

Looks like: Conversations, connections, chaos and compliments.

Will remind you of: A treasure chest or a time machine.

Useful if: You want/need new clothes, want to make room in your closet or want to hear or share a story with a stranger.

Invite your friends on Facebook and come prepared to share (more than just clothing) on Saturday.

Stereo Trees: Visual Transportation Through Miniature Viewfinders

Stereoscopic \ster-ē-ə-ˈskä-pik\ photographs are created using a stereoscope, a method which produces images that appear 3-dimensional and solid in form. This description does not begin to give credit to the magic of the images in Areca Roe’s Stereo Trees project, which she shared with us at Open Field on Saturday. If you didn’t get a […]

Stereoscopic \ster-ē-ə-ˈskä-pik\ photographs are created using a stereoscope, a method which produces images that appear 3-dimensional and solid in form. This description does not begin to give credit to the magic of the images in Areca Roe’s Stereo Trees project, which she shared with us at Open Field on Saturday. If you didn’t get a chance to visit, the photos were hung from trees with colorful chords, visible through small viewfinders.

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The photos served as portals to hyper-real natural scenes: crackling campfires frozen in pristine 3-dimensionality, forests shooting high up into the clouds above, and waters perfectly captured mid-crash. The images are an exaggerated version of reality, immaculately frozen and magnified in front of one’s eyes.

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The stereoscopic viewfinders were hung at various heights, allowing for those of smaller stature the opportunity to enjoy the images as well. Friends, families and strangers gathered to view the individual pieces. Though individual faces were obscured and the resulting experience seemed to be completely solitary, responses of surprise and awe were collectively shared as pictures passed from hand-to-hand and eye-to-eye.

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Stereo Trees embodied the true spirit of Open Field, bringing together strangers and friends, and made a direct experience with art accessible to visitors of all ages.

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Find it at Open Field: Mindfulness

We are happy to introduce Dawn Bazarko, DNP, MPH, RN and Certified Mindfulness Facilitator, sharing information on Mindfulness: Be Here NowTM, an Open Field program brought to you by Moment HealthTM, a UnitedHealth Group business. What is mindfulness? Mindfulness — the practice of focusing attention in the present moment, with a stance of openness, acceptance […]

We are happy to introduce Dawn Bazarko, DNP, MPH, RN and Certified Mindfulness Facilitator, sharing information on Mindfulness: Be Here NowTM, an Open Field program brought to you by Moment HealthTM, a UnitedHealth Group business.

Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness — the practice of focusing attention in the present moment, with a stance of openness, acceptance and non-judgment, is a powerful tool for enhancing health, happiness and well-being. Mindfulness has become mainstream, twice making the cover of Time Magazine, and has been the focus for numerous other news features.

Why mindfulness?

As a long time meditator and expert in the field of mindfulness, I have witnessed the profound benefits of living life in the moment and  believe that everyone can benefit in some way by slowing down, pausing versus reacting, and deepening relationships through the gift of presence. Mindfulness can be particularly helpful in dealing with the uncertainties and stress of daily living, which we all inevitably face from time to time. Mindfulness helps us to deal with life’s challenges more effectively by creating the space to respond in an even-keeled way, with less emotional reactivity.

Can you share some of the science behind mindfulness?

The scientific community now recognizes mindfulness practices as a means to improve focus, performance, health and well-being –  even our happiness. Mindfulness has been shown to result in a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes. In fact, research shows that even short-term mindfulness programs enhance the part of the brain associated with working memory and attention. We now know that we have the power to change our brains to increase focus and enhance our decision-making! And when we focus our attention on the present moment, studies indicate that we are happier, have less anxiety and have an increased sense of well-being.

How are you bringing mindfulness to Open Field?

We are delighted to be working with the Walker Art Center to introduce you to the practice of mindfulness as a part of Open Field. On Saturday  July 26 or Thursday July 31, we will be holding 30 minute free introductory mindfulness sessions which include a brief discussion of the science and benefits of mindfulness and then a short meditation. We hope you will join us.

Until then, there are a number of mindfulness practices you can try on your own to help focus on the present moment, including yoga, painting, or even spending time in nature. You can read here about one mindfulness practice mentioned in the Boston Globe that is particularly appropriate when spending time at the Walker Art Center. Wishing you all peace, ease and happiness.

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Mindfulness: Be Here Now will be presented at Open Field on Saturday, July 26 and Thursday, July 31.

Dr. Bazarko is the founder and Senior Vice President of UnitedHealth Group’s Center for Nursing Advancement and the founder of Moment HealthTM, a UnitedHealth Group business focused on bringing mindfulness solutions to the work place, to health care workers and into health care delivery to improve the patient care experience.

Open Field 2014 is sponsored by United Health Foundation

Learning Together: Saturday, July 19th at Open Field

Some incredible opportunities to learn as a community await at Open Field this Saturday. Several workshops will be taking place: Saturday, July 19th Karen Norby, Get Soaked (with local muesli) Soaking grains is no joke. Join Karen Norby to learn quick, easy ways to make a delicious and nutritious breakfast, snack or treat.  Soak local muesli in […]

Some incredible opportunities to learn as a community await at Open Field this Saturday. Several workshops will be taking place:

Saturday, July 19th

Karen Norby, Get Soaked (with local muesli)

Soaking grains is no joke. Join Karen Norby to learn quick, easy ways to make a delicious and nutritious breakfast, snack or treat.  Soak local muesli in organic milk or almond milk and create your own parfaits- with yogurt, fresh fruit, or dark chocolate. Learn the magic of local, sustainable foods, and enjoy something delicious that will make you feel great. On Saturday, prepare to fall in love with breakfast again.

Muesli

 

Monica Howell, Infant Massage

In many cultures around the world, massaging infants is an age-old tradition. Bring your 0-6 month-old and a mat (activity will be outside); massage oil and instructions will be provided in this hands-on bonding experience with your infant. Infant massage is fun and beneficial for both babies and adults. For parents and other caregivers, it can be a way to get to know your baby’s responses, gain confidence as a caregiver, demonstrate respectful touch, and communicate caring. Babies enjoy massage as well, and it can be especially beneficial for those with symptoms of colic or gas.

 

Fitz's first real bathMay 26, 20113.5 weeks old

Mom giving an infant massage’ by Rusty Tanton, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Jake Voit, Organic Soil Solutions

Soil is an ecosystem that your plants grow in, called the Soil Food Web. Unfortunately, most gardens and landscapes use chemicals and techniques that hurt the ecosystem and create a downward spiral of bad health. Much like the ecosystem that is your body, soil ecosystems must be nurtured and cared for in healthy, sustainable ways. This Saturday, Jake Voit will teach visitors the importance of sustainable, healthy agriculture, and how to do your part to add to the health of  this ecosystem – with benefits such as 50% reduced water use, the elimination of pesticides and fertilizers, the protection of plants from disease, reduced waste from landfills, and improved nutrition levels in food.

Bring a handful of your own soil and receive a free consultation. View this soil through a microscope, marvel at the wonders of the microbes that thrive within it, and receive a to-do list of techniques and natural products to create a flourishing soil and garden.

If you are interested in learning more about sustainable, healthy agriculture, visit Jake Voit’s Blog: http://communityearth.tumblr.com/

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Coming Soon to Open Field

Head over to our Facebook page to get a recap of the whirlwind of events that took place on the Field last week. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store on Saturday, July 12th: Into the Blue: The World of Cyanotype – Nathan Lewis Did you know you can create a photograph without a camera? Are you […]

Head over to our Facebook page to get a recap of the whirlwind of events that took place on the Field last week.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store on Saturday, July 12th:

081812_Cyanotypes_Hair-1024x768Into the Blue: The World of Cyanotype - Nathan Lewis

Did you know you can create a photograph without a camera? Are you fascinated by the antiquated processes of creation and creativity? Do you know what the root of the word photography is? (Hint: photo = light, graphy = writing). In this project, Nathan Lewis will provide supplies, instruction for a process that dates back to the 1840s, and inspiration for creating images with found objects using only light. Visitors will learn the mechanics of exposure and what it means to create a photograph as opposed to just take one.

 

Nancy Walk 9 Pic 1Walk With MePaige Tighe

This exploration of the mundane and/or the extraordinary will encourage participants to step outside of their comfort zone (or stay within it), talk to a stranger (or don’t), and do something adventurous (or un-adventurous). Share a moment of intimacy with a stranger or a friend in a world that is becoming increasingly un-intimate in this seemingly simple exercise of walking while holding someone’s hand.

 

100 Choreographers, Megan Mayer4×4 = 100 Dancing OutsideLaurie Van Wieren

In this communal dance performance, 100 choreographers will simultaneously perform a piece within a 4×4 foot space (together forming a 40×40 foot square) on the field. In this performance, the thriving dance community of the Twin Cities will come together on a large scale, and as an audience we will have the opportunity to experience the work of an array of movement artists in a unique setting.

 

Cake

Let Them Eat Cake! - Genna Deprey

Join pastry chef Genna Deprey to learn how to make buttercream frosting, practice piping, and eat cake! Share a pipette with a friend and take advantage of good company while making and enjoying cake.

Laurie Van Wieren Returns with 100 Choreographers

Nivea Cream Piece First performer comes on stage with a bottle of Nivea Cream or (if none is available) with a bottle of hand cream labeled ‘Nivea Cream.’ He pours the cream onto his hands and massages them in front of the microphone. Other performers enter, one by one, and do the same thing. Then […]

Nivea Cream Piece

First performer comes on stage with a bottle of Nivea Cream or (if none is available) with a bottle of hand cream labeled ‘Nivea Cream.’ He pours the cream onto his hands and massages them in front of the microphone. Other performers enter, one by one, and do the same thing. Then they join together in front of the microphone to make a mass of massaging hands. They leave in the reverse of the order in which they entered, on a signal from the first performer.

–Alison Knowles, 1962

Variation on Nivea Cream Piece

Large quantities of Nivea Cream must be available, at least one large jar per person. The performers enter and each lathers up his arms and face, then his colleagues, in a fragrant pig-pile.

–Alison Knowles, Date Unknown

Laurie Van Wieren performs in Nivea Cream Piece by Alison Knowles. Performed February 14, 1993, during the In the Spirit of Fluxus opening.

Laurie Van Wieren performs in Nivea Cream Piece by Alison Knowles. Performed February 14, 1993, during the In the Spirit of Fluxus opening.

At the Walker’s 1993 opening for In the Spirit of Fluxus, Twin Cities choreographer and curator Laurie Van Wieren performed in Nivea Cream Piece, an event score by Fluxus pioneer Alison Knowles. When Van Wieren reminisces about the event, she’s quick to point out that she and her four cohorts rehearsed with precision, detail and a bit of caution, making sure they got the score’s directions just right. Their efforts were interrupted by Alison Knowles herself giving stern feedback that they were rehearsing it all wrong– they needed to lather up with force. Van Wieren recalls that the five performers were soon in an enthusiastic, vigorous and maybe slightly inappropriate “fragrant pig-pile”, just as the second score describes.

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Before the ‘fragrant pig-pile.” Laurie Van Wieren performs Variation on Nivea Cream Piece.

Laurie Van Wieren is known as a driving force in the Twin Cities dance scene. She creates idiosyncratic performance works, helps steer Dance MN (the Twin Cities’ dance newsletter and website), and founded 9×22 Dance/Lab as a space for choreographers both established and emerging to experiment with movement. But what’s less known about Van Wieren’s choreographic career is that it has strong roots at the Walker, where she worked from 1975-85. Though she was formally a guard, she often stationed at the front desk where she greeted everyone and secretly worked on grants: “I was lucky. I got to meet most every dance artist who came into town, and I saw everything. The first show I worked at night was Merce [Cunningham]. I was also awe-struck by Grand Union.”

Laurie Van Wieren rehearses at Open Field. Photo by Megan Mayer.

Laurie Van Wieren rehearses at Open Field. Photo by Megan Mayer.

At the same time Van Wieren, who formally trained at the Art Insitute of Chicago in visual and performance art, began studying dance and teaching improvisation. Many of her fellow guards (also artists) took her class. In 1981 they decided to audition Van Wieren’s work for Choreographer’s Evening at the Walker and the piece was accepted. The event changed how her work was perceived: “People have been calling me a choreographer ever since.”

Chris Holman rehearses 4x4 = 100 Dancing Outside. Photo by Laurie Van Wieren.

Chris Holman rehearses 4×4 = 100 Dancing Outside. Photo by Laurie Van Wieren.

Twenty-three years later, Laurie Van Wieren has curated the Walker’s Choreographer’s Evening twice and continued to share her performance work at the event. This Saturday she returns to the Walker with her newest piece, 4×4 = 100 Dancing Outside presented as part of Open Field. The work places one hundred choreographers within four- by- four foot squares where Van Wieren has instructed them to move in any way they like for intervals of ten, twenty, or thirty minutes. The piece explores Van Wieren’s dual role as choreographer and curator, providing a platform for local dance makers to present their work en masse: “I really like putting people together and seeing what happens. I want people to know how many choreographers there are in town. There are many more than 100—but 100 is a nice number to work with.” In a turn of serendipity, Alison Knowles also returns to the Walker with a performance score this week. She and her collaborator Joshua Selman will re-stage Proposition #2, Make a Salad Thursday evening at Open Field. If the event is anything like Van Wieren’s story of the Nivea Cream scores, we can expect a most exuberant salad-making experience.

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