Blogs Walker Seen

Seen: The Big Chair Before the Big Stage

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Olawale Toriola of Egypt 80 relaxing before Seun Kuti and his band took the stage at Rock the Garden 2015.

The Visitors: The People of Rock the Garden 2015, Day Two (Father’s Day Edition)

Sunday, June 21 was a special day. It was the summer solstice, Father’s Day, and the second day of Rock the Garden 2015. To celebrate, I set out to photograph fathers with their kids. There’s no question about it: dad’s rock.

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Kevin and Lina

Sunday, June 21 was a special day. It was the summer solstice, Father’s Day, and the second day of Rock the Garden 2015.

To celebrate, I set out to photograph fathers with their kids.

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Rory and Andrew

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Greg and Elsa

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Scott and Solveig

Jeremy, Ayana, Kaito, and Yuriko

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Walker Performing Arts Intern Emeritus Sam Segal and his father, Bob

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Aaron and Eero

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Joe and Jasper

There’s no question about it: dad’s rock.

The Visitors: The People of Rock the Garden 2015, Day One

The first day of Rock the Garden 2015 began auspiciously. The clouds parted right on time for thestand4rd‘s remarkably assured opening set. The youthful collective sounded like seasoned pros, working the crowd effortlessly. It would be the first of many stand-out performances from a lineup overflowing with songwriting talent, including Courtney Barnett, Lucius, Conor Oberst, […]

Sean, Alayet, Laurissa, Abby

“What’s your favorite part of Rock the Garden?” “Minneapolis. Minneapolis outdoor festivals are great: The people, the music… it doesn’t get better.” Pictured: Sean, Alayet, Laurissa, Abby

The first day of Rock the Garden 2015 began auspiciously. The clouds parted right on time for thestand4rd‘s remarkably assured opening set. The youthful collective sounded like seasoned pros, working the crowd effortlessly. It would be the first of many stand-out performances from a lineup overflowing with songwriting talent, including Courtney Barnett, Lucius, Conor Oberst, and of course, indie legends Belle and Sebastian. The audience clearly reciprocated the enthusiasm coming from the stage, and as people began dotting the Walker hillside with their colorful blankets, I set out to document some of the excitement.

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“I saw around 200 shows last year, and Courtney Barnett at the Varsity was one of the best.” Pictured: Jim and Paul

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“She experienced the sculpture garden for the first time.” Pictured: Mai and Kay

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“It’s his first concert.” Pictured: Andrew and Charlie

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His first concert, too. Pictured: Rebecca and Marcel

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“They moved here from Australia.” Pictured: AJ, Beth, Nancy, and David

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“What’s the most exciting thing to happen to you today?” “It’s still to come.” Trent and Olivia

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“What act are you most excited for?” In unison: “Courtney Barnett!” Pictured: Rachel, Collette and Jenny

 

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Pictured: Susan and Goldy

International Pop: After Hours Preview Party

On Friday evening the Walker  filled with dazzling colors, 1960’s pop hits, sushi-art making, carnival games, and a karaoke party. There was even a Ferris wheel lit with psychedelic colors, that seemed to dance into the Minneapolis skyline. Served were international hot dogs, day-glo donuts, and Fizz Bang Pop cocktails. Hundreds came to celebrate the opening of […]

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These IPOP balloons won’t pop. Photo: Angela Jimenez

On Friday evening the Walker  filled with dazzling colors, 1960’s pop hits, sushi-art making, carnival games, and a karaoke party. There was even a Ferris wheel lit with psychedelic colors, that seemed to dance into the Minneapolis skyline. Served were international hot dogs, day-glo donuts, and Fizz Bang Pop cocktails. Hundreds came to celebrate the opening of International Pop, ready to show off their best threads from that iconic era. The exhibition reexamines Pop art through a multicultural lens, including artwork from international artists such as Czech artist Jiří Kolář and Brazilian artist Antonio Manuel. Although important American figures of the period are featured, such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, they aren’t the only stars of the show. Instead, they share the stage equally with non-American works. This capacious approach to Pop allowed for other themes such as Brazillian neo-concretism, protofeminism, and political criticisms to come to discussion. The  Walker-organized exhibition will be in Minneapolis through August before traveling to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak (at left)

Former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak (at left) and wife Megan see Japanese artist Shinohara Ushio’s 1962 painting, Oiran. Photo: Samantha Sacks

People enjoying games outside.

People enjoying games outside by the Ferris wheel. Photo: Angela Jimenez

 

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This audience is truly entertained by the karaoke songs. Photo: Angela Jimenez

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More karaoke in the Garden Terrace Room. Photo: Angela Jimenez

Molly Nelson and Ellen Roth

Molly Nelson and Ellen Roth. Photo: Samantha Sacks

These two had no hesitations to truly embody the look of the era. Smiling, they exclaimed, “We’ve been friends for ten years!” No wonder their jumpsuits were so well coordinated.

Taking a mighty swing to hit the bell

A well-executed swing sets off the Hi-Striker’s bell—and in heels, no less. Photo: Samantha Sacks

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Crafting sushi from paper in the Star Tribune Art Lab. Photo: Angela Jimenez

Spending some of prom night seeing Thomas Bayrle's 1966 "Mao"

Spending part of prom night seeing Thomas Bayrle’s 1966 Mao (1966). Photo: Samantha Sacks

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A weiner bar, featuring sausages from Argentine, Brazil, Japan, and—in this case—Germany. Photo: Angela Jimenez

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Hitting the dance floor with DJ Izzy and Liberty Finch of KFAI. Photo: Samantha Sacks

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And some more dancing. Photo: Angela Jimenez

Enjoying a ride on the Ferris wheel and a gorgeous view of the city

Enjoying a ride on the Ferris wheel and a gorgeous view of the downtown Minneapolis. Photo: Angela Jimenez

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Patiently waiting for a nighttime ride. Photo: Samantha Sacks

Walker People’s Archive: Guides, Crew and Guards, Seen 1929-2015

At the Walker People’s Archive, we’ve been collecting photographs and stories illustrating people’s most vivid Walker memories. Walker visitors, staff members past and present, arts luminaries and all kinds of scenesters have contributed to the project.  But this contribution takes the cake (there’s cake at the WPA site, too!): Tom Berglund passed along this picture, […]

Anna Jorgenson, Walker Art Galleries, 1929

Anna Jorgenson, Walker Art Galleries, 1929

At the Walker People’s Archive, we’ve been collecting photographs and stories illustrating people’s most vivid Walker memories. Walker visitors, staff members past and present, arts luminaries and all kinds of scenesters have contributed to the project.  But this contribution takes the cake (there’s cake at the WPA site, too!): Tom Berglund passed along this picture, of his mother’s mother, Anna Jorgenson, at work as a docent in the Walker Art Galleries in the 1920s.  In 1940, the Walker Art Galleries were rechristened the Walker Art Center, and the institution began a new life–with a new orientation toward the public–under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration and its Federal Arts Project.  It’s that anniversary we’ve been celebrating–but it’s a thrill to have this photo from even further back.

We’ve got many other photos of guides and other Walker workers through the years, like this one of Richard Parnell and Willie Willette, members of the Walker’s exhibition crew in the 1990s, horsing around for the (Polaroid) camera during preparation of Jenny Holzer’s The Living Series for installation in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in 1993.

Richard Parnell and Willie Willette, Walker Art Center, 1993

Richard Parnell and Willie Willette, Walker Art Center, 1993

Or this recent shot of Todd Balthazor, gallery guard and illustrator, and his story about his ultimate Walker celebrity sighting.

Todd Balthazor, Walker Art Center, 2015

Todd Balthazor, Walker Art Center, 2015

We’re wrapping up this project over the next few weeks; we’ll close the submission side of the web site after March 30.  That means you have just one more week to share your Walker memories!  All contributions to the archive over the course of the project will remain online, and they will be preserved by the Walker’s Archives and Libraries department as a special collection that will help future generations see how we thought of ourselves at this anniversary moment.  Go to the Walker People’s Archive to upload or learn more.

Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon 2015

Edit-a-thon Participants

Art +Feminism Sign

On Sunday, March 8, many Wikipedians, both new and seasoned in editing, filled the Walker Library and Art Lab to contribute to the second annual Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, in celebration of International Women’s Day. This satellite event was one of more than 70 that took place internationally over the weekend. The goal of this event is to narrow the vast gender gap that exists on Wikipedia by representing more feminism and art related topics. In 2011, the Wikimedia Foundation found that women only account for 8.5 percent of Wikipedia editors. This enormous disparity accounts for the general lack of women in the arts being represented on the world’s largest online encyclopedia and seventh most popular website, globally.

Art + Feminism’s first Wikipedia Edit-a-thon event was in February of 2014. Following the success of this event, organizers of the event were included in Foreign Policy Magazine’s List of 100 Leading Global Thinkers.

Edit-a-thon Participants

The day started off with an introduction to the event and its deeper purposes by Walker hosts Amy Fox, Jill Vuchetich, and Margit Wilson, followed by an informational crash course in Wikipedia editing led by Wikipedia experts. They went over the Wikipedia coding language, which included the general layout of an article, how to bold and italicize words, and how to add citations. There are also many rules and guidelines for editing and creating Wikipedia pages that must be taken into account to avoid criticism from the Wikipedia community experts. Articles must be written objectively, have citations from reliable sources, be respectful, and be notable subjects or considered important by the rest of the Wikipedia community.

In a recent article from Hyperallergic, Sarah Cowan writes about the flagship event that took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She comments on, “how deeply skewed Wikipedia’s measures of importance are.”

What actually makes something important? Wikipedia’s five pillars state that they, “strive for articles that document and explain the major points of view.”

If the majority of editors are men, then subjects and points of view that women may find to be very important can easily be shot down and deleted. Cowan found this pillar to be a bit ironic for the purposes of the event, in that part of the feminist initiative is to, “give underprivileged members of society a voice.”

List of Edits

Thirty-five topics and artist pages were created or improved upon during the afternoon. Pages were created for artists internationally such as the Canadian artist collective, FASTWÜRMS, and Chinese multimedia artist, Cao Fei. Pages were also created on American painters, Sarah Crowner and Dianna Molzan, whose works have been featured at the Walker Art Center exhibition, Painter Painter.

It is likely that participants will take their editing skills home with them, continuing their efforts on expanding topics on art and feminism. What was accomplished by the participants on Sunday was a fantastic addition to the ever expanding topics on art and feminism being represented on Wikipedia. However, the more important accomplishment of this event was empowering both men and women, alike, to create a more equal representation of gender on Wikipedia.

“Looking and Choosing”: The Walker Contemporaries Collecting Panel

How do you start an art collection? This was the question on the minds of members of the Walker Contemporaries at last month’s Collecting Panel. The night offered Contemporaries a chance to pick the brains of some Twin Cities art professionals: Curator for the General Mills Art Collection Lisa Melander, founder of exhibition space and art consultancy Waiting Room Jehra […]

How do you start an art collection? This was the question on the minds of members of the Walker Contemporaries at last month’s Collecting Panel. The night offered Contemporaries a chance to pick the brains of some Twin Cities art professionals: Curator for the General Mills Art Collection Lisa Melander, founder of exhibition space and art consultancy Waiting Room Jehra Patrick, David Petersen Gallery’s owner and director David Petersen, and Walker associate curator Eric Crosby. Calling the event a “Panel” might have been a bit of a misnomer. Everyone in attendance had the opportunity to sit around a dinner table over a couple glasses of wine to discuss what it is they want out of an art collection and to hear from these local experts on where to begin.

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Walker Contemporaries in discussion with Jehra Patrick, Lisa Melander, and David Petersen.

So how did the panelists approach this fundamental question? None of them had a step-by-step guide, but one consistent theme did arise: collecting art is a social activity. Whether it’s by forming relationships with artists, gallerists, or other collectors, you need to create a “dematerialized collection” of connections, in Petersen’s words, that can you can draw on when you’re interested in certain artists and certain types of work. They also encouraged everyone to try to speak directly to artists about their work whenever possible. Patrick pointed out that when you talk to an artist and learn more about their process, you then become an “ambassador” for the artist to people who see the work in your space.

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David Petersen and Lisa Melander

The panel wasn’t without more concrete advice as well. For those looking to get their feet wet with some low-budget pieces, the guests suggested the MCAD Art Sale and Midway Contemporary Art’s Monster Drawing Rally. Artist and musician Nicholas Larkins-Perez came prepared with some very specific questions about the legal maneuvering he might have to do in order to purchase pieces of net.art, and Patrick directed him to the free legal counsel for artists provided by Springboard for the Arts.

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Nicholas Larkins-Perez

Focusing on one piece of work at a time seemed to be another one of the main keys to embarking on what seems to some like a monumental task. Patrick advised attendees not to think of their collection as a single body of work or as some sort of thesis. Instead, she suggested people open themselves up to a wide variety of works, artists, and media. Exploring is the only real way to begin to understand the aesthetic priorities that will drive your purchases, or put in Lisa Melander’s graceful phrasing, “Buy what speaks to you.”

What’s Happenin’? A Think & A Drink.

On Friday night’s A Think & A Drink, Walker members held a Happening of their own. Interactive tours of the exhibition Art Expanded, 1958–1978 encouraged discussion of this wonderfully disorienting era and provoked questions ranging from the profound (“What is art?”) to the puzzling (“Why is the cellist topless?”). When asked to imagine their own […]

On Friday night’s A Think & A Drink, Walker members held a Happening of their own. Interactive tours of the exhibition Art Expanded, 1958–1978 encouraged discussion of this wonderfully disorienting era and provoked questions ranging from the profound (“What is art?”) to the puzzling (“Why is the cellist topless?”). When asked to imagine their own Happening, here’s what some of our Walker members suggested:

Sarah Vig:
“The experience has to be both pleasant and repulsive, with no explanation of the elements involved. Live animals should be included – probably lizards. For my Happening I’d have people walk past progressively larger terrariums housing progressively larger lizards until you encounter the biggest enclosure, which is empty. Then through a door participants would enter a room which is actually a giant terrarium, turning them into the lizards! And maybe I’d include someone in a French maid costume dusting and a bad tuba player performing while facing the wall. That sounds about right.”

Jonathan Gross
“There would have to be vintage ’60s clothing – leather vests with fringe, jumpsuits, headbands, and frizzy wigs – with everyone performing a set task, the more mundane the better.”

Susan Spray
“For me Happenings were like a Kafka play with no established cast. There would be food, music, lighting, plenty of props, and costumes for people to take, structural objects to stand on or against, and an agitating person to get things moving. Let’s throw some taxidermy cats in there, as well.”

Glen de Guzman
“Drinks, decorations, and door prizes!”

Amy Ilstrop
“I’d take every museum gift shop postcard and bring each corresponding work into one gallery, like my favorite museums combined. There would be a massive concert and top chefs serving dessert. And, if I pull a John Lennon and Yoko Ono, I can claim that it’s all for peace and is completely worthwhile.”

Kristi Running
“I cannot top that, so I’m going to Amy’s. I’m also going to use the line ‘But it’s for peace!’ as an excuse in everyday life.”

“Kristi and Amy, would you mind if I took a photo of you for the blog?  Come on, it’s for peace!”

A Think & A Drink: Member Events provide intimate looks at exhibitions, performing arts and film followed by drinks and conversation. Our next A Think & A Drink evening offers an insider’s introduction to Tere O’Connor Dance BLEED with curator Philip Bither, a discounted performance ticket, and a complimentary drink in the Balcony bar after the show. Space is limited, so RSVP here.

Winter Walkerland, Meet Free First Saturday

On February’s Free First Saturday, the Walker Art Center was bursting to the seams with families of all ages, ranging from babies in strollers, to energetic elementary-school kids, to delighted grandparents. Everyone made the trek for Winter Walkerland, a jubilant celebration of the Walker’s 75th anniversary. Visitors were astounded by the bevy of choices available to […]

On February’s Free First Saturday, the Walker Art Center was bursting to the seams with families of all ages, ranging from babies in strollers, to energetic elementary-school kids, to delighted grandparents. Everyone made the trek for Winter Walkerland, a jubilant celebration of the Walker’s 75th anniversary. Visitors were astounded by the bevy of choices available to them: they could ice skate in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, make watercolor masterpieces in the Art Lab, sip hot cocoa in the café, and ask experts their burning questions about art. And that was just the beginning!

A young visitor prepares to ask a question about art at Hotline

A young visitor prepares to ask a question about art at Hotline

These kids were enthralled by Erwin Wurm's Truck

These kids were enthralled by Erwin Wurm’s Truck

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Enjoying a break from all the excitement

Using foam and wire, families made three-dimensional masks and sculptures

Using foam and wire, visitors made three-dimensional crowns, masks, and sculptures

Families worked together to make art

Families worked together to make art

Hanging out at the Art Lab

Hanging out at the Art Lab

...while others sipped on homemade hot cocoa

Some kids stayed warm by drinking hot cocoa…

...while others dressed up for the occasion

…while others dressed up for the occasion

It was a beautiful day for ice skating in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

These boys sped past Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's Spoonbridge and Cherry

These kids sped past Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry

All in all, it was a day of fun activities for all families visiting the Walker

All in all, it was a fun day for all families visiting the Walker

A Wintry Walker Celebration

Gliding past the Spoonbridge and Cherry on a crisp winter evening. Sipping cocktails served from an ice bar. Discovering new artworks among old favorites. Delighting in asking and answering questions about art. On Thursday evening Winter Walkerland festivities celebrating the opening of 75 Gifts for 75 Years filled the building and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with […]

Gliding past the Spoonbridge and Cherry on a crisp winter evening. Sipping cocktails served from an ice bar. Discovering new artworks among old favorites. Delighting in asking and answering questions about art. On Thursday evening Winter Walkerland festivities celebrating the opening of 75 Gifts for 75 Years filled the building and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with laughter and energy. Throughout the night the crowd bundled up to enjoy the delights outdoors or shed their many layers to wander the galleries.

Skaters by the Spoonbridge and Cherry

A few skaters stopped to pose with Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Skaters by Spoonbridge

But they were soon on their way again.

Hotline phone back at Winter Walkerland

Hotline made a reappearance and people stepped up to ask questions about art.

People writing down questions at Hotline.

People posed their questions and wrote them down.

People talking on phones in Hotline.

Question in hand, curious visitors picked up a phone to be connected to art experts on the other end.

People answering the phone for Hotline.

Art experts—including artists, curators, writers, critics, educators, and collectors—were ready to answer each question.

Ice bar outside Walker building.

What do you name a drink served at an ice bar in the dead of a Minneapolis winter? The North Star, of course!

Women holding drinks in front of ice bar.

Some lingered outside to enjoy the North Star, artfully served via an ice luge.

Yaoyi Kusama's Passing Winter is back in the galleries, this time part of the 75 Gifts for 75 Years exhibition.

Everyone was glad to see that Yayoi Kusama’s Passing Winter is on view again, this time part of the 75 Gifts for 75 Years exhibition.

Visitors looking at Kuitca.

Visitors stepped back to take in all of Guillermo Kuitca’s Everything, then moved closer to take in the details.

Couple kissing in front of LOVE.

Robert Indiana’s Cor-Ten LOVE was the perfect place to stop for a photo.

 

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