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An Art Historian Asks: Why Do I Like the Internet Cat Video Festival So Much?

Why do I like the Internet Cat Video Festival so much?  More to the point, why does it bother me that I like it so much? The truth is, I was taken with the idea of the festival before I ever attended.  I’m an art historian – I’m in the business of taking art seriously […]

catfest

Why do I like the Internet Cat Video Festival so much?  More to the point, why does it bother me that I like it so much? The truth is, I was taken with the idea of the festival before I ever attended.  I’m an art historian – I’m in the business of taking art seriously – but I don’t find a festival of cat videos too lowbrow for the Walker.

Why not?

It occurs to me that the internet is like a living organism — one that has drastically changed the way most people socially interact.  With all the talk in my field about art of social practice, Open Field seems to me a perfect way of making concrete the concepts under discussion. And the Walker’s internet cat video festival is a particularly successful case in point, bringing that practice into the real world.

Domestic spaces are filled with screens. Cat videos combine small, cuddly pets, digital cameras and isolated humans. Fans and makers of the form may connect virtually, but we usually watch in isolation. While many of us might enjoy the same cat videos, there’s no lasting, in-person connection. I think the festival’s wild popularity stems from its upending of that dynamic, from the quirky connections between people forged through simple physical proximity.  The  unlikely combination of internet + cats + festival is the key source of #Catvidfest’s artfulness.  Music fans expect to convene outside for Rock the Garden – hearing live music in the park is a relatively routine activity of summer. But cats and homemade YouTube videos both tend to be silly, and admitting to loving them is a little socially awkward. And those are the very elements that make the act of coming together to watch them in public at an art museum intriguing.

I went to latest iteration of the festival, back again this year on the Walker’s big green space. And I had a blast.  It was like liberating a guilty pleasure, a mass confession of sheer delight in watching banal, mostly poorly-made amateur cat videos. And just think of all the places Walker’s #Catvidfest has now toured! It’s a borderless pleasure, globally shared.  And that’s what really struck me, sitting on the Walker’s grassy knoll with thousands of strangers last week – laughing harder than I think I’ve laughed in long time. Mine was part of a collective enjoyment, and that happiness was a palpable thing, centered on flickering images on a screen of something small, fluffy and breathing.

And you know what? It was just what I needed.

I’ve been such a news junkie lately, following feeds and news stories in the hopes that, maybe, just one of the world’s current border/religious/political/racial conflicts might have found resolve since I last checked in. But no. In fact, just today, as I write this, we learned a journalist was beheaded.  As the Washington Post commented recently, the Internet Cat Video Festival  – the experience of collectively watching cats be ridiculous – provides an antidote, a shared reprieve from the dire news of the day. And the effects of that are good for all of us.

catpeople

For some, there’s surely still a nagging snootiness, the lingering question: “But is this art?” I’d point them to the work of Will Braden, hired by the Walker to curate this year’s reel of cat videos. He cleverly spliced one amusing feline feat into another in ways that got everyone howling; he added in unexpected things, like vintage cat video footage; the Minneapolis firehouse cat was a total gem.

Want to know something funny? I watch absolutely no cat videos on the internet. (I do other stupid things to waste my time online.) So, I’m not really qualified to judge the festival in terms of cat video quality.  What I can speak to are the relational aesthetics  of the event – in plain English, how well this festival fosters new relations among viewers with each other and with the contemporary, social and media world around them.

Dr. Sheila Dickinson writes about contemporary art and was Secretary of the Irish section of the International Association of Art Critics.

The Nine Lives of the Internet Cat Video Festival

The first Internet Cat Video Festival grabbed the attention of the world, generating hundreds of articles, interviews and blog posts worldwide.  The #catvidfest You Tube playlist has logged a staggering 872,460 views since the festival and “Golden Kitty” winner Henri 2, Paw De Deux (created by Will Braden) has generated nearly 6 million views. On […]

The first Internet Cat Video Festival grabbed the attention of the world, generating hundreds of articles, interviews and blog posts worldwide.  The #catvidfest You Tube playlist has logged a staggering 872,460 views since the festival and “Golden Kitty” winner Henri 2, Paw De Deux (created by Will Braden) has generated nearly 6 million views. On the surface the idea of the Walker Art Center hosting an event for Internet Cat Videos may have seemed surprising, but in the context of Open Field it was a perfect site.  The uniting spirit of Open Field or as described by a local writer for the blog BoingBoing as the “Happy Mutant Smorgasbord” is to create a space for new ideas, experimentation and community.  The Internet Cat Video Festival was a perfect summation of this desire, taking crowd sourced content and placing it in a new context and bringing together community.

ITS NOT JUST ABOUT CAT VIDEOS

Since the festival we have had some time to assess what made it work and where to go next.  This was not intended to be a curated film program, but rather an embrace of an internet phenomena and experiment to transform a solitary online viewing experience into a real world social event.  The event comes out of our Community Programs and Education Department (ECP) and Open Field, which is built on a platform of crowd sourced content and in the spirit of collaboration and building community.  With that said, it was important that event was the Walker Art Center and in the context of a leading contemporary art institution.  But it was also about the related programming.  We invited local non-profits and animal rescue organizations to have information tents, Lunalux   made collaborative letterpress posters, our weekly drawing club convened, Mike Haeg lead the creation of giant cat’s cradles on the hill, Brian Laidlaw and the Family Trade  opened the night with Acoustic Campfire (including covers of Cat Power and Cat Stevens) and plenty of food and drink.  Its about the entire platform and something that didn’t appear overnight, but the result of years of prior work and experimentation.

ITS ABOUT CROWD SOURCED CONTENT AND THE EDIT

The festival was created by crowd sourcing videos from the public nominated from You Tube.  We received over 10,000 nominations, from which a team of jurors narrowed down the videos to a few hundred. The final editing, sequencing and animations were completed by Katie Hill, Scott Stulen, Andy Underwood-Bultmann and Dante Carlos at the Walker to create a finished reel that was tight and entertaining. It was important for the festival to be sourced from the public, but like Open Field, it benefited from some assistance from the institution in making it finished program successful.

ITS ABOUT THE PEOPLE

One of our lessons from the event, and also from Open Field, is the desire for people to build community and contribute in sincere and meaningful ways. Its also very different watching Keyboard Cat with thousands of other people laughing in unison than alone on your computer. Part of the success of the Internet Cat Video Festival is in this simplicity. It’s not trying to be anything deeper than it is. Although it does raise many issues about authorship and curation and the role of traditional institutions,  at its core the event used cat videos as a means to gather people together and create moment of joy.

The experience of the event is summed up well by Madeline Davies writing for the online site Jezebel. ” The Internet Cat Video Festival made an act of isolation (sitting alone in front of your computer screen) into a celebration of togetherness. Walking towards the parking ramp, I noticed that people who were previously strangers were now interacting with ease. Cars were letting other cars pull ahead of them. Everyone was happy and being kind. While my bones ached from standing and my head hurt from exhaustion, I was sad to leave the small utopia that the Walker had created.”

 SO WHAT IS NEXT?

Since the conclusion of the festival we have field dozens of inquires about staging the event at other sites.  We wanted the project to remain in the spirit of its origination, but also source from the community of its host site.  These events as extensions of the experiment….kinda our mobile Cat Lab.  To date we have schedule two experiments to see how the event travels, one on each coast.

#catvidfest @UMASS
University of Massachusetts Boston
Tuesday, October 23rd
7pm

Tonight #catvidfest will make its east coast debut at the U Mass Boston Campus Student Center.  Hosted by the student run Harbor Gallery the event will occur outdoors on the UMass Boston campus from 7:00 until 8:30 PM. As seating will be free range, attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets and folding chairs. This event is free to attend and open to the public.

#catvidfest @MOPA
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego
Thursday, November 15th
8:30 pm

The west coast premiere will take place a few weeks later on Thursday, November 15th at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego as part of their POP Thursdays programming and in conjunction with a crowd sourced exhibition titled Soapbox! The Audience Speaks.  MOPA is including the screening as part of an evening of several activities including a DIY blending station with North Park’s Coffee & Tea Collective, Art installation by J Noland and a display of winning photographs from The App Wars, a Hipstamatic vs. Instagram competition. Its promises to be an amazing event!

#catvidfest @SXSW

We learned last week that we will be presenting on #catvidfest at this year’s SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, TX.  We will speak on #catvidfest as a case study to question what it means for a museum to reflect contemporary culture in the era of YouTube, explore the challenges traditional institutions face engaging online audiences and share what we learned from transforming a solitary online viewing experience into an real world social event.  More on this closer to the event.

FOLLOW US

Follow for updates future events and other #catvidfest developments on twitter and facebook.
@openfield

Open Field Facebook
#catvidfest Facebook

Any inquires regarding festival or potential tour sites should be directed to scott.stulen@walkerart.org or call 612-375-7616

For media inquires please contact Rachel Joyce rachel.joyce@walkerart.org or call 612-375-7635

 

#catvidfest: Vote for “Best in Show”

Now that #catvidfest is over and the festival has been made public, here is your opportunity to vote for your personal pick for “best in show.” Tweet your pick and it’s corresponding number from the list below including the hashtag #catvidfest and we will tally the votes an announce the winner on Friday September 7th. […]

Now that #catvidfest is over and the festival has been made public, here is your opportunity to vote for your personal pick for “best in show.” Tweet your pick and it’s corresponding number from the list below including the hashtag #catvidfest and we will tally the votes an announce the winner on Friday September 7th. View the entire playlist on the Walker Art Center’s YouTube channel here.

www.walkerart.org/catvidfest

#catvidfest
01 Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell Spot, by Animal Planet
02 I want…, by AnimalHumaneSociety, 1,131 views
03 Lucy Films, by LaborCamp, 59 views

COMEDY
04 Patty Cake Cats, by Seth Miller, 1,918,566 views
05 Gary’s Disgusted, by ClintWeiler, 208,809 views
06  Talking Cat, by cutefurrytales, 1,169,672 views
07 Cat Acts Like Dog, by TushiRIT, 4,730,264 views
08 Cat Barks Like Dog, by noobdaily, 12,353,002 views
09 Nom Nom Nom Cat, by k1pperiz, 2,295,511 views
10 Cat Meowing Weird, by Takahura, 62,885 views
11 Cats Scream Yawns, by theindiemachines, 1,594,712 views
12 Cat Burp, by iveftfirecracker, 82 views
13 Underwater Treadmill Cat, by neosurrealist, 14,074 views
14 Cat Shower, by HolaKenty, 4,229,367 views
15 Cat Alarm Clock, by GarrulousCrap, 3,588,978 views
16 Why Won’t He Wake Up? , by Mitone Cooke 2,110,375 views
17 Peek-A-Boo Suitcase Cat, by cmbt89, 748,798 views
18 Yes Cats, by Gattacapa, 924,324 views
19 Kittens Dancing, by tariqwahl, 3,854,459 views
20 Kitten Freak Out, by 100disks, 2,496,196 views
21 Kittens Riding Vacuum, by melodyparris, 4,113,033 views
22 Kitten Train, by SpaceyStacy88, 10,349 views
23 Kitten Pounce on Dog, by pratvids, 5,040 views
24 Kitten Can’t Jump, by RoAsTLevin, 3,497,251 views

DRAMA
25 Kitten vs. Two Scary Things, by ignoramusky, 6,303,007 views
26 Stalking Cat, by lowdope, 35,253,296 views
27 Cat vs Cat Balloon, by CarlyandRobert, 2,367,946 views
28 Dramatic Cat – Orchestral, by John Pickup, 815,641 views
29 WTF Kitty, by DidHEDiedChannel, 11,583,199 views
30 The OMG Cat, by Davincipop, 18,667,503 views
31 Persian on Bed, by akkitom1, 67,276 views
32 Banana Security, by richfofo, 456,968 views
33 White Cat on Two Legs, by crazystuff103, 4,628,499 views
34 Orange Cat Gone, by teakdc, 15,735,776 views
35 Angry Cobra Cat, by shoutitallloud, 3,773,970 views
36 Serious SOS Cat, by DogsAnimalsCats, 2,320,911 views
37 Little Cat Provokes Big Cat, by phunit, 14,364 views
38 Cat Jump Fail, by FiatVeronica, 314,291 views

FOREIGN
39 Kittens in Bowls, by lpoleschtschuk, 7,393 views
40 Gatonovela, by flix, 232,767 views
41 Les Chats Ninjas, by faireset2, 2,602,589 views
42 I am Maru 4, by mugumogu, 2,186,374 views
43 Happy Birthday Cat, by tomomama3, 1,004,013 views
44 Les Vieux Cons, by faireset2, 595,277 views
45 Cat Scratches Butt, by xanaduvista, 618,856 views

ANIMATED
46 Simon’s Cat, by simonscat, 36,248,487 views
47 Sushi Cats, by TandNPeanuts, 83 views
48 Welcome to Kitty City, by cyriak, 3,427,952 views
49 Boots and Cats, by AfferatteDesign, 1,208,071 views

DOCUMENTARY
50 Catvertising, by johnst172, 1,842,399 views
51 Space Cats, by andyfreeberg, 212,503 views
52 Engineer’s Guide, by klusmanp, 5,778,851 views
53 100 Ways to Love a Cat, by travisandjonathan, 277,043 views
54 Facts on Cats, by richfofo, 107,148 views
55 Cat Show Trailer, by Madden Meiners, 101 views

CAT STRETCH!
56 Montage of Assorted Cute Kitties (not available on YouTube playlist)

MUSICAL
57 The Internet is Made of Cats, by rathergoodstuff, 880,646 views
58 Nora, the Piano Cat, the Sequel, by burnellyow, 8,109,044 views
59 Kitty Cat Dance, by steveibsen, 3,435,178 views
60 Island Kitty, by jordan9148, 47 views
61 Trololo Cat, by thetoaster2006, 1,906,670 views
62 Catsik ft. Exkitten – Swagga, by KrashOPS, 604,064 views
63 Live PopTart Nyan Cat, by BradJohnsen, 487,763 views
64 Sky Mall Kitties, by ninakatchadourian, 80,811 views

ART HOUSE
65 Cory Arcangel, by coryarcangel, 76,802 views
66 Noodle Cup Heads, by shironekoshiro, 55,804 views
67 Slow Motion Kitten, by mundomudado2010, 43,042 views
68 Purring Face, by dangerbird64, 71 views
69 Cat Puke, by slaveclothes, 28 views

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
70 Kittens Inspired by Kittens, by blakekelly0, 16,307,592 views
71 Surprised Kitty, by rozzzafly, 64,754,627 views
72 Keyboard Cat, by chuckieart, 26,295,021 views

PEOPLE’S CHOICE (in alphabetical order)
73 Cat Mom Hugs Baby Kitten, by dragomirnet86, 47,665,611 views
74 Dubstep Cat, by xga66erx , 1,158,885 views
75 Henri 2, Paw de Deux, by WillBraden, 3,216,625 views
76 Maru Slides into Boxes, by mugumogu, 14,298,886 views
77 Nonono Cat, by MrDron059, 7,957,170 views
78 Nyan Cat, by saraj00n, 83,222,478 views
79 Two Talking Cats, by TheCatsPyjaaaamas, 50,792,975 views

*view counts reflect the number of YouTube views of each video at the time of nomination
**video creators are credited by their YouTube username

 

How to Attend an Internet Cat Video Festival

If you are as excited as I am about the upcoming #catvidfest, then you might also be wondering about the logistics of the event. So here, for you cat ladies, internet lovers, social types and just plain curious cats, is an important list of Dos and Don’ts… Do get here, to Walker Open Field, early. […]

If you are as excited as I am about the upcoming #catvidfest, then you might also be wondering about the logistics of the event. So here, for you cat ladies, internet lovers, social types and just plain curious cats, is an important list of Dos and Don’ts…

Do get here, to Walker Open Field, early. We’ve got plenty of activities to keep you occupied starting at 4pm with Drawing Club with mnartists.org and a letterpress poster-making activity with the ladies of Lunalux, and the galleries are open and FREE thanks to Target Free Thursday Nights from 5 – 9 pm. We also have live music starting at 7pm on the field, so you’ll be serenaded while you wait for the cats on screen. I’d recommend getting here long before it gets dark so that you may secure a viewing spot on the field. #catvidfest will begin at 8:30 pm.

Don’t expect tickets or seating. Please bring a blanket or something to sit on and know that the field is a big open green space outside and you may stake your space on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Do dress for the weather. It might be hot or it might be cold, either way dress accordingly and remember that the temperature may drop as the sun sets.

Don’t worry if you get hungry, the D’Amico Garden Grill will be open. We’ve also ordered a few extra bars to help service your thirst with some excellent keg beer and a specialty “Cat’s Meow” cocktail! Kitty cocktails will also be available for the younger ones.

This is from Music and Movies on Walker Open Field last year. #catvidfest will be set up in a similar fashion.

Do ride your bike if you can! We’ve ordered extra bike racks for all you hip cat-video-loving bikers.

Don’t expect us to accommodate your cat. In fact, 99.9% of your cats would not like to be brought out into a social public gathering of this type, so please be kind to your kitties and leave them at home with some extra catnip for the night:) If you do insist on bringing an animal, know that you are responsible for that animal’s needs and we will not have food, water, or kitty litter available.

Do expect to talk about your cat with other cat lovers. Feel free to bring pictures, stories and a great attitude about cats to share with your feline inclined kindred while you wait for the show to begin.

Don’t forget to buy a #catvidfest T-shirt, meet our community partners and have a great time while you’re here. We have friends from Feline Rescue, the Animal Humane Society, and the Wildcat Sanctuary who will be on the field and happy to talk with you about the amazing things they do for our feline friends.

Do tweet in your vote for “best in show” from the entire line-up of videos in the festival with the hashtag #catvidfest and the corresponding number you will find in the program we will be handing out the night of the fest.

Don’t be angry with us (or me personally) because your favorite video didn’t make the cut. We’ve tried our best to be broadly inclusive, but at the end of the day there’s only so many ways to edit down thousands of videos into a mere hour or so of footage. We are hoping to post some Honorable Mentions that didn’t make the cut online after the festival, so stay tuned…

Do follow up online if you can’t make the actual festival here in Minneapolis on Aug. 30th. We will be posting the #catvidfest line-up on www.walkerart.org/catvidfest following the festival for those of you across the globe or otherwise occupied next Thursday night.

For more information on how to get to the Walker Art Center and its amenities click here.

See you next week,

XO MEOW

Acoustic Campfire: Tango Pohjan Tähden

We have an exciting treat for Acoustic Campfire on Walker Open Field this week: Finnish Tango from Tango Pohjan Tähden! Who knew?! Come check it out on Thursday night after you’ve worn yourself out wandering the Walker galleries (which are free from 5-9pm thanks to our Target Free Thursday Night program), making birthday cards, learning […]

We have an exciting treat for Acoustic Campfire on Walker Open Field this week: Finnish Tango from Tango Pohjan Tähden! Who knew?! Come check it out on Thursday night after you’ve worn yourself out wandering the Walker galleries (which are free from 5-9pm thanks to our Target Free Thursday Night program), making birthday cards, learning about teen behaviors, knitting, and drawing with local artists.

 

Tango Pohjan Tähden

Tango Pohjan Tähden is a tango quartet from Minneapolis that blends tango, jazz, and folk music within the context of classic Finnish tangos, creating a lush, original soundscape. Does it get much better than that? I don’t think so. Music starts at 8pm on Open Field Grove and I have a feeling there will be plenty of room for dancing… so feel free to let the music move you and show off your best tango steps!

Take a listen to this amazing group here and get in the mood for fun on Thursday night!

MAKING IT: Drawing Club with Melissa Loop, Hannah Frick, and Vanesa Windschitl

There are only two Drawing Club sessions left of the season! Can you believe it? Time sure flies when you are having fun on Open Field.  This week our special local artist guest hosts are Melissa Loop, Hannah Frick and Vanesa Windschitl. If you haven’t made it to Drawing Club yet this summer, you should […]

There are only two Drawing Club sessions left of the season! Can you believe it? Time sure flies when you are having fun on Open Field.  This week our special local artist guest hosts are Melissa Loop, Hannah Frick and Vanesa Windschitl. If you haven’t made it to Drawing Club yet this summer, you should come this Thursday before it’s too late.

What’s Drawing Club? If you don’t know by now, well, then you really should come on down on Thursday from 4 -8pm and find out! We make collaborative drawings and all ages and levels of artistic ability are welcome. The only rule: what’s made at Drawing Club stays at Drawing Club. Come add on to one of our many works in progress or start something new and leave it for others to add on to. You can view finished works on our tumblr: http://openfielddrawingclub.tumblr.com/

Take a minute to get to know this week’s guest hosts and we’ll see you at the picnic tables on Open Field Grove on Thursday!

Melissa Loop

Melissa Loop lives and works in Minneapolis MN where she received her Fine Arts BFA in fall 2005 from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Upon graduation, she received the Vanderlip Travel Grant given the most promising student.  Melissa has been nationally shown and published internationally.  Most notable are features in New American Paintings and Dmag in Buenos Aires.  Last summer she had a solo show at Soo Visual Art Center in Minneapolis as well as asolo show at Breeze Block Gallery in Portland Oregon.

By using past and present notions of Utopia and Dystopia as a platform, she makes landscape paintings of exotic locations that deal with human ideals and misconceptions of desire, authenticity, and subjugation.

Hannah Frick

Hannah Frick is an emerging artist in the Twin Cities.  She earned her BFA in Painting from the College of Visual Arts in 2011.  Frick enjoys creating abstract paintings and collages from the refuse of everyday life.  Her slight tendency to hoard and her obsessive attention to detail allow her to create interest and beauty with materials that are often overlooked.  Besides making and exhibiting work, Frick stays involved in the arts community through her guest curator role at Fox Tax Gallery, and as an active volunteer at The Soap Factory.  You’ll find her biking around the Twin Cities all year long, and will quickly win her over with a good pun or a cute cat picture.

Vanesa Windschitl

Vanesa Windschitl currently lives in Minneapolis and has her BFA in Illustration from the College of Visual Arts. She loves mashed potatoes, Nine Inch Nails, and her two dachshunds, Evie Goose and Abraham Lux.

 

 

Acoustic Campfire: Lynn O’Brien and HOLLY

This week’s Acoustic Campfire features TWO excellent performances from Lynn O’Brien and HOLLY.  Unlike most of our Acoustic Campfires, this week we are starting early with Lynn O’Brien performing at 7 pm and HOLLY starting at 8pm.  They will provide an excellent wind down opportunity after you play with live animals, explore natural artifacts and […]

This week’s Acoustic Campfire features TWO excellent performances from Lynn O’Brien and HOLLY.  Unlike most of our Acoustic Campfires, this week we are starting early with Lynn O’Brien performing at 7 pm and HOLLY starting at 8pm.  They will provide an excellent wind down opportunity after you play with live animals, explore natural artifacts and actively enjoy all of the other wonderful programs coming to Open Field from 3 – 8 pm on Thursday by way of Three Rivers Park District’s Silverwood Park.

HOLLY

You may recognize Lynn O’Brien‘s vocal stylings from her work with Hummingbirds who performed earlier this summer at Acoustic Campfire. This week we’re privy to a special solo performance from Lynn which promises to soothe the soul with the jovial pleasantry of her delightful sounds.

HOLLY makes music that is unable to cause you any pain whatsoever. Unless actually hearing harmonics of this kind of thing is painful. But it is designed not to upset you in the least. HOLLY includes Holly Muñoz on vocals and guitar, Justin Hartke on bass, and Dan Choma on drums. They will begin playing at 8 pm.

Take a look and listen to the video below for a taste of what’s to come on Thursday and we’ll see you for music starting at 7 pm on Walker Open Field!

 

 

SIlverwood Park at Open Field!

Live animals on the field? Bug hunting in the Sculpture Garden? Nature Phontography? These are but a few of the many activities coming our way next Thursday, August 16th, when Three Rivers Park District’s Silverwood Park invades Walker Open Field and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden! Last fall we took an Open Field “Field Trip” out […]

Live animals on the field? Bug hunting in the Sculpture Garden? Nature Phontography?

These are but a few of the many activities coming our way next Thursday, August 16th, when Three Rivers Park District’s Silverwood Park invades Walker Open Field and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden! Last fall we took an Open Field “Field Trip” out to this spectacular art park in St. Anthony (which is not actually more than a few minutes from Minneapolis, seriously) and now they are coming to us! And they’re bringing all sorts of art and nature related activities. Below is a brief rundown of next Thursday’s many opportunities for natural fun as Silverwood Park and Three Rivers Park District take over Open Field and the Sculpture Garden!

 

Drawing Club: Dead or Alive
Open Field Grove Picnic Tables, 4:00 – 8:00 pm
Our regular Open Field Drawing Club, with an animal twist. Take a pencil, a few bones, add a little taxidermy, a live animal or two and you have Drawing Club with Three Rivers Park District. Whether you start a new piece or work on an existing drawing, this session of Drawing club will be killer!

SparkleRock
Open Field, near the Jim Hodges boulders, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
There are four new sparkling faces on Open Field this summer! Come welcome them in style by creating miniatures in their likeness. Bring your own favorite stone or choose one of ours to foil in homage to Jim Hodges’ new monolithic work.

Natural artifacts from Silverwood Park

Clay Olympics at Open Field
Open Field, 3:00 – 4:30pm & 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Olympic fever has caught us too. Not nearly as serious as the summer games in London, a friendly competition of clay games awaits on Open Field. Individual and team events open to all ages and abilities.

It’s Alive!
Open Field, 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Visit live animals on Open Field! Draw them, observe them, or both! Live animals may include frogs, turtles, snakes, salamanders and/or other surprise non-human guests…

To Dye for
Sculpture Garden, near Belvedere, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Delve into the nature of plant pigments and hammer out hues with plant samples from the Three Rivers Park District! Weave your work into the fabric of the park through collaborative interaction with the Sculpture Garden.

FlatPak Exploration Station
Sculpture Garden, near FlatPak in the Garden , 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Learn about raptors and explore artifacts with a naturalist from Three Rivers Park District.  Make animal mosaics and survey the sculpture garden for urban animals.

Bug Hotel and Sparkle Rocks

Nature Phontography
Begin in Sculpture Garden at Ampersand 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Come with your smart phone and pick up a treasure map. Follow the clues to find and photograph urban-dwelling natural objects. Work on your own or with a naturalist. Naturalist led-walks leave every 30 min, starting at 6:00 pm.

Garden Exploration Stations
Sculpture Garden, near Spoonbridge and Cherry and near Hare on Bell on Portland Stone Piers, 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Explore different mammal furs, monarchs and artifacts with a naturalist.

Bug Houses; Where Small is the New Big
Sculpture Garden, near Molecule, 4:00 – 7:00 pm
Make a big house and create habitats for backyard bugs. Design your own egg-laying chamber or hibernation room using simple materials including cardboard, clay tubes, sticks and more!

In Search of Bugs
Sculpture Garden, near Alene Grossman Arbor, 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Sweep, observe and identify what insects are in the Sculpture Garden. Naturalists will be on hand to assist with identification.

We hope you can make it out for this spectacular day on Open Field! Were not sure when else you might get to play with live animals, make houses for bugs, compete in clay Olympics, draw dead or alive things and explore the natural setting of the Walker Art Center all at once. And hang around after these activities wind down for Target Free Thursday Night and Acoustic Campfire performances from Lynn O’Brien at 7 pm and HOLLY starting at 8pm.

MAKING IT: Drawing Club with Pete Driessen, Adam Erickson, Lisa Bergh, Andrew Nordin, and Noah Harmon

Drawing Club gets even more awesome this week because Thursday night is 80’s Night on Walker Open Field. In connection with the Walker’s current exhibition, This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, Open Field invites you to grab your best 80s garb and come on down for a night of reminiscing […]

Drawing Club gets even more awesome this week because Thursday night is 80’s Night on Walker Open Field. In connection with the Walker’s current exhibition, This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, Open Field invites you to grab your best 80s garb and come on down for a night of reminiscing about that decadent decade.

New to the club? Drawing Club meets from 4-8pm every Thursday in the summer at Walker Open Field to make collaborative drawings and hang out.  Everyone is welcome (kids, adults, teens, artists, non-artists, etc.) to contribute to drawings that have already been started or start something new to leave for others to finish. The only rule: What’s made at Drawing club, stays at Drawing Club. You can check out our online archive of “finished” works here: http://openfielddrawingclub.tumblr.com/

Each week we’ve invited local artists to host Drawing Club and this week’s special guests are Adam Erickson, Pete Driessen, Lisa Bergh, Andrew Nordin, and Noah Harmon.  For 80’s night Drawing Club, Pete will be focusing on collaging 80′s images on faux wood paneling sheets.

Take a moment to get to know this week’s host and get ready to hang out and reminisce about the 80s with them on Thursday!

Pete Driessen

American artist Pete Driessen (Born 1961, Hopkins, MN) is a Minneapolis based multipractice visual artist, painter and educator who creates large scale sociopolitical paintings, mixed media ship fleets, found object installations, conceptual art statements, and participatory projects. Pete received his MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has taught at the college and secondary levels. He has been awarded local and regional grants, and his exhibition record includes national and regional exhibitions, including Curatorial Cult Club/Kwestion Quration? at the Walker Art Center Open Field. He is currently curating a hybridic garage-based gallery out of his home known as TuckUnder Projects, where fellow guest artist hosts Lisa Bergh and Andrew Nordin are currently showing work.

Adam Erickson

Adam Erickson is currently working on his Master of Fine Arts degree at The Art Institute of Boston.  He has a BA in Art History and Studio Art from Bethel University  and he completed a Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship in drawing and digital media at the New York Center for Art and Media Studies.

 

 

Lisa Bergh

Lisa Bergh holds a BFA in printmaking from the University of Arizona and an MFA in Spatial Arts from San Jose State University. Lisa’s work moves from 2-d works on paper, to small sculptures and installations, which are all informed by the ideas of memory, place, and the body; beauty and the grotesque, and an ongoing curiosity in collections and display.  In addition to her own studio practice Lisa is an adjunct instructor at St. Cloud State University, where she teaches drawing.

 

Andrew Nordin studied both Painting and Graphic Design at St. Cloud State University after attending Ridgewater Community College. He received his MFA in pictorial arts from San José State University in California. Growing up in the farmland areas of southern Kandiyohi county and exploring the lakes area in both summer and winter has helped in forming his aesthetic: ruggedly crafted works that mix landscape elements with the language of painterly abstraction. Andrew is the Gallery Manager and Art Instructor at Ridgewater College. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor at St. Cloud State University, where he teaches digital art, drawing, and painting.

Together, Lisa and Andrew operate ARThouse – a phantom residential venue specializing in contemporary art and ideas.  www.arthousenewlondon.com

Noah Harmon

Noah Harmon is a visual artist living in Minneapolis. He received a BFA from St. Cloud State University. Themes explored in his work include but are not limited to: relaxing, enjoyment, creeps, hotties, champions, Rock & Roll. The work is informed by pop culture, travel, television, and the supernatural.

 

 

Acoustic Campfire: 80’s Night with Jim Walsh and The Mad Ripple Hootenanny

Join us on Walker Open Field this Thursday for 80’s Night in honor of This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s . We’ve got a special Acoustic Campfire performance lined up that will be hosted by Jim Walsh and feature his group of spontaneous songwriters The Mad Ripple Hootenanny.   The Mad […]

Join us on Walker Open Field this Thursday for 80’s Night in honor of This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s . We’ve got a special Acoustic Campfire performance lined up that will be hosted by Jim Walsh and feature his group of spontaneous songwriters The Mad Ripple Hootenanny.

 

The Mad Ripple Hootenanny was started in November, 2006 by writer/host/singer/organizer/songwriter Jim Walsh as a way of bringing songwriters together for a one-night only round-robin of original songs and stories. Over the years, many notables have taken part in the Hoot (Billy Bragg, Dan Wilson, Elvis Perkins, Curtiss A, Ike Reilly, Ben Kyle) and been joined newbies and up-and-coming locals at Java Jack’s, the Beat Coffeeshop, the Guthrie, Banjo Jim’s in New York, Kings Wine Bar, the Aster, and others. Now in its sixth year, the Hoot is gearing up for a new season that kicks off with the Acoustic Campfire Hoot with Minneapolis music vets Walsh, Chris Osgood, Lianne Smith, and Chan Poling, who will be backed by drummer Ken Goldman and keyboardist Pete Christensen.

Take a look and listen to Jim Walsh and The Mad Ripple Hootenanny below and get ready to bust out your best neon and lace and reminisce about the 1980’s on Thursday night! Music starts at 8pm on the Open Field Grove.

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