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Artists on Site: Alison Klayman with Olga Viso

After winning accolades and racking up awards, including Sundance’s Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance, for her documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, filmmaker Alison Klayman is directing her attention to another fiercely independent artist: Carmen Herrera. Born in Cuba in 1915 but long a resident of New York City, Herrera has been painting for […]

Alison Klayman and Olga Viso. Photo: Paul Schemlzer

Alison Klayman and Olga Viso. Photo: Paul Schmelzer

After winning accolades and racking up awards, including Sundance’s Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance, for her documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, filmmaker Alison Klayman is directing her attention to another fiercely independent artist: Carmen Herrera. Born in Cuba in 1915 but long a resident of New York City, Herrera has been painting for more than seven decades, six of which were in near total obscurity. It was only in 2004, at age 89, that Herrera sold her first painting. That was when her work started selling swiftly. It was “very pleasant to be recognized a little bit,” she told The Guardian a few years ago. “I’ve made it on to the cover of the New York Times without ­having to kill anyone. All I had to do was get old. The world came to me ­eventually – I just had to wait 94 years, that’s all.” Today her geometric paintings are in collections worldwide, including the Walker’s.

Last week, Klayman dropped by the Walker to conduct an on-camera interview with Walker Executive Director Olga Viso on Herrera’s work and legacy for her upcoming film, Carmen Herrera: The 100 Years Show, scheduled for release to coincide with the artist’s 100th birthday on May 31. In 2010, Viso acquired four works by Herrera for the Walker’s collection: a series of three gouache paintings on paper from 1966 and a rare sculptural work from 1971, which will be on view in the Walker’s upcoming 75th-anniversary exhibition, Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections.

Carmen Herrera, Untitled, 1971

Carmen Herrera, Untitled, 1971

 

Spotlight: Rock the Garden Volunteers

More than 600 shifts were filled by volunteers at last month’s two-day Rock the Garden festival, making it our largest volunteer event of the year. Volunteers assist at nearly every turn on the Walker campus: festival entrances, Eureka Recycling’s zero-waste composting stations, beer tents, and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden VIP areas! We are continually delighted and […]

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More than 600 shifts were filled by volunteers at last month’s two-day Rock the Garden festival, making it our largest volunteer event of the year. Volunteers assist at nearly every turn on the Walker campus: festival entrances, Eureka Recycling’s zero-waste composting stations, beer tents, and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden VIP areas! We are continually delighted and impressed by the dedication, energy, and pure excitement that volunteers bring to this event. We love our volunteers! From their stories, it sounds like they had a great time, too!

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Susan Mikutowski:

I was positioned at the entrance putting on wrist bands. All the attendants were pleasant and cordial. That fact made the wrist band application streamlined and easy. I enjoyed saying a few words to each visitor, welcoming them and saying, “Please enjoy the show.” I think that they appreciated this, which made me feel good about the job I was doing. Even without that, I felt good about having this opportunity to help out at Rock the Garden. I’m so thankful for the extraordinary organization of all of the volunteers. It must have been an enormous endeavor to coordinate everyone.

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Emily Davis volunteering next to the Ampersand, Martin Puryear’s 1988 sculpture

Emily Davis volunteering next to the Ampersand, Martin Puryear’s 1988 sculpture

Emily Davis:

This year was my very first experience and I enjoyed every minute!  It was wonderful to people watch while listening to some awesome performances.

Mid shift volunteers on Saturday!

Mid-shift volunteers on Saturday!

Courtney Kleckner:

My favorite part of Rock the Garden was meeting Caroline Smith! I was able to chat with her for a few moments at the entrance. I love meeting local artists.

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Jennie Eisert and Carla Super stand guard next to a high-traffic zero-waste station

Jennie Eisert and Carla Super stand guard next to a high-traffic zero-waste station

Jennie Eisert:

I have been volunteering at RTG since 2008 on the Green Team (helping make this large scale event waste free). This year I had an awesome time volunteering with my buddy Carla. The day was beautiful, and the bands were great. Lizzo from the Chalice was amazing, and De La Sol knocked it out of the park.  I’ve learned so much about composting and have thought about what an accomplishment it would be for Minneapolis to become the first (at least 90%) waste-free city!

Volunteer Ashlee Haluptzok helping at the entrances

Volunteer Ashlee Haluptzok helping at the entrances

Ashlee Haluptzok:

2014 marks my fourth year volunteering at Rock the Garden. I look forward to that precious weekend every single year. The atmosphere is my favorite part. Everyone is so excited, happy, and friendly. This year was my first time wrist-banding at the entrances, and it was a whirlwind of fun. Greeting attendees into the greatest summer festival in Minnesota is enlightening and put a permanent smile on my face that weekend. The volunteer program at Walker is extremely organized. Crystal and her team truly make the experience inviting and uplifting. You can tell how appreciated you are the second you put on your volunteer t-shirt.

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Julianne Queensen helping a visitor to sort compost and recycling at a zero-waste station

Bonnie Berquam:

What a well-organized volunteer event! I’m proud to be involved with a zero-waste event and impressed that it can be done! People at the event were so nice and accommodating with keeping the site clean and manageable.

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The Visitors: The People of Rock the Garden 2014

In the sea of summer concerts, not one could upstage the confetti-raining, swag-stylin’, toddler-dancing energy of Rock the Garden. The 2014 two-day festival, a project of the Walker and The Current, ranged from the rap rhythms of hip-hop trio De La Soul to the catchy harmonics of Spoon. The Walker hillside was filled with colorful […]

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In the sea of summer concerts, not one could upstage the confetti-raining, swag-stylin’, toddler-dancing energy of Rock the Garden. The 2014 two-day festival, a project of the Walker and The Current, ranged from the rap rhythms of hip-hop trio De La Soul to the catchy harmonics of Spoon. The Walker hillside was filled with colorful blankets, enthusiastic concert-goers, and mad spirit. The weather gods seemed to be on our side this year with a sunshine-filled Saturday and on-and-off droplets on Sunday, which ended in a symphony of light.  Audience members showed off their crowd-surfing ways, cat enthusiasm, and groovy dance moves. Nothing peeled back the layers and revealed radiating summer fun more than Rock the Garden. Photographer Carina Lofgren was there to capture the faces and the fun during the festival’s first day.

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Performing Arts Associate Curator Doug Benidt with De La Soul's David Jude Jolicoeur and Kelvin Mercer

Performing Arts Associate Curator Doug Benidt with De La Soul’s David Jude Jolicoeur and Kelvin Mercer

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Avant Guard: Gallery Assistant Diane Mullen on Edward Hopper

At the Walker or any other art venue, no one spends more time with the art—not curators, installation crew, or visitors—than the sentinels standing among the works of masters: the guards. Many of these gallery assistants (as they’re known at the Walker) are themselves artists, a role that gives them a unique perspective on the […]

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Diane Mullen states that the methodical process of Hopper’s work has informed her own approach as a writer. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

At the Walker or any other art venue, no one spends more time with the art—not curators, installation crew, or visitors—than the sentinels standing among the works of masters: the guards. Many of these gallery assistants (as they’re known at the Walker) are themselves artists, a role that gives them a unique perspective on the work we show. In the new series “Avant Guard,” we tap into the experiences of these individuals to see how their attitudes and perceptions about a particular work or artist change over the duration of an exhibition. First up: Diane Mullen offers her take on Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process (closing June 20, 2014).

Emylisa Warrick: How does your perception of a piece of art or an exhibition change from the beginning of the show to, say, three months later?

Diane Mullen: My perception is always changing. I was familiar with Hopper’s work through Nighthawks, which I had seen in Chicago. But it was surprising going into the Walker show for the first time because it’s different from some of the typical shows I’ve been here to work at as a guard: the layout of it, the benches, the strong emphasis on the paintings and the sketches. It also has a completely different feel than the other shows, and I think that’s partly because of the layout. I know that the curator was very specific in setting it up that way.

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Edward Hopper, Room for Tourists, 1945

Warrick: Have you formed a special attachment or bond to a piece in the exhibition?

Mullen: I really love Rooms for Tourists (1945). It’s a painting of a New England–style house. It’s white with a little glow in the window, and it has the “Rooms Available” sign. I love that piece and I can’t explain why. Maybe it’s partly because I was in New England a couple of years ago, in Exeter, New Hampshire, and had such a great time. But the painting has the same architecture and everything. I love what Hopper did with it. I love looking at the sketches, the way he decided to crop off the top of the house, and how he decided how much to show of the hedges. You can look at the sketches and see what he was trying to do figure out. It’s a painting of a house, but I think it’s just so filled with layers of emotions, thoughts, and processes. I love that piece. It feels very alive. I like so many of the sketches and scenes of Greenwich Village, too, but this particular piece really resonates with me.

Warrick: What have you taken away from this exhibition?

Mullen: As an artist, I think what I’ve taken away from studying Edward Hopper’s process is his determination and resilience. Looking at the pieces that involved him as a commercial artist makes me think, “We’ve all done that.” We create art at times to pay the bills. I was a filmmaker for 13 years before I got my MFA. I shot end caps at Target overnight and things like that. And to see that Hopper did that in order to pay his bills, even though he didn’t like doing it, so that he could get to where he wanted to be—that is inspiring.

Also, he didn’t give up. He did what he had to do in order to live the life of an artist, which we’re all still doing today–and to create work that says so much in a small space. It seems like every painting that I look at, even if it’s a building, has a narrative. I think that is a true gift.

It’s purposeful and he studied and worked until he came to what we see hanging on the walls. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him for doing that. Every artist does that, but Hopper, specifically, what he did was really tell the story of where he lived, where he walked, where he had coffee, where he was. I believe his work is considered realism. They’re snapshots with a true narrative. I don’t ever look at a piece and say, “Nice painting.” It’s always, “What was going on here? What were the dynamics?”

Party Around The Clock: Northern Spark 2014

From sundown to sunup, Northern Spark was a splash and arts lovers braved the howling winds to fill the Walker on a soggy Saturday night. With an interactive multimedia projection, poetry tarot, a roving accordion player, and the opening of two exhibitions, it was a popular place to dry off, pass the time, and grab a cup of coffee […]

Graffiti Angel in Sophronia by Joellyn Rock, Kathy McTavish, and Rob Wittig

Graffiti Angel in Sophronia by Joellyn Rock, Kathy McTavish, and Rob Wittig

From sundown to sunup, Northern Spark was a splash and arts lovers braved the howling winds to fill the Walker on a soggy Saturday night. With an interactive multimedia projection, poetry tarot, a roving accordion player, and the opening of two exhibitions, it was a popular place to dry off, pass the time, and grab a cup of coffee before heading back out into the city to explore more projects.

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Members of the Atelier School spent the evening sketching an Office at Night tableau for Old School Art School

Edward Hopper’s beloved Office At Night came to life for Old School Art School.

Drawing Club moved to the

Drawing Club moved to the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab

Drawing Club moved in from Open Field and stayed low and dry tucked away in the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab.

Graffiti Angel in Sophronia

Graffiti Angel in Sophronia

Graffiti Angel in Sophronia incorporated video, images, music, and text inspired by Italo Calvino’s imaginary city of Sophronia. Improvising on audience suggestions sent via Twitter, a team of writers wove together words to tell a story projected on the walls of Medtronic Gallery.

Ed Bok Lee reading tarot cards for Poetry Tarot

Ed Bok Lee reading tarot cards for Poetry Tarot.

Poetry tarot offered a chance to confer with a poet for a personalized poem-fortune.

People waited for their first chance to catch all 24-hours of Christian Marclay's The Clock

People waited for their first chance to catch all 24-hours of Christian Marclay’s The Clock

Some chose to pass the time with Christian Marclay’s looping, 24-hour film, The Clock.

Costumes: a Northern Spark tradition

Costumes: a Northern Spark tradition

Although the storm moved much of the action indoors, people dressed up—in their best costumes or rain gear—and went out into the evening to celebrate the vibrant and boisterous arts community that pulls together every year around Northern Spark.

Seen: Bath Time in the Garden

In the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Henry Moore’s Standing Figure: Knife Edge (1961) gets a bath, May 29, 2014. “Seen” highlights one-off photos of Walker life as captured by our staff.

Cinefile: Dear White People Advance Screening

The Walker’s advance screening of Dear White People on May 2 gathered both young and old, budding filmmakers and artists, as well as the public and those intimately involved with creating the movie. Filmed at the University of Minnesota, Dear White People garnered praise at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival for its satirical portrait of […]

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Raslyn Wooten, wardrobe stylist for Dear White People, captured the hip look of college students with a nostalgic feel through Peter Pan collars and cardigan sweaters. Robb Kelly, makeup artist, created a flawless vision with her brush. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

The Walker’s advance screening of Dear White People on May 2 gathered both young and old, budding filmmakers and artists, as well as the public and those intimately involved with creating the movie. Filmed at the University of Minnesota, Dear White People garnered praise at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival for its satirical portrait of race and identity in contemporary America. We met some of the many who showed up to see this important film, which opens to wide release in fall 2014.

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James Clinton Francis, Mali D. Collins, and Elliot Smith awaited with anticipation. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Armin Habibovich, Cheri Anderson, Lucinda Winter, and Jahbo Hughes. Winter, executive director of the Minnesota Film and TV Board, helped support this Twin Cities–shot film, while Hughes worked production for the film, mostly focusing on props and setting, to create the fresh look and tone of Dear White People. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Mina Adani, Natalie Clifford, and Lucreshia Grant. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Noah Anderson and Megan Rock made the film a stop on date night. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Allison Osberg was waiting for a friend right before the show. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Shannon Evans, Tamiya Smith, and Brianna Wilson just met, but they were happy to take a picture together. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Andrew Harrison, Norah Shapiro, and Jeremy Wilker. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Katie Gaulke, who plays Annie in the film, got into acting because her father was an actor. Her background is in web development, but she ultimately decided to pursue acting full-time. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Walker Film/Video Curator Sheryl Mousley and Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper introduce Dear White People. Photo: Gene Pittman

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Dear White People director Justin Simien, at right, introduces producer Effie Brown and actors Tessa Thompson and Tyler James Williams. Photo: Gene Pittman

The Visitors: The People of May’s Free First Saturday

Down in the Art Lab, children dipped brushes and colored pencils in water and created crabs scuttling across white sheets, apples rolling across hilltops, and landscapes bursting off the page. The colors of the sculptures started to warm up in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden as spring sank its green fingers into the landscape. Visitors watched […]

Chue Lor and Soua Vue’s day date included a tour of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on Free First Saturday. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

Down in the Art Lab, children dipped brushes and colored pencils in water and created crabs scuttling across white sheets, apples rolling across hilltops, and landscapes bursting off the page. The colors of the sculptures started to warm up in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden as spring sank its green fingers into the landscape. Visitors watched the bell in For Whom… sway silently and circled Hare on Bell on Portland Stone Piers until they were dizzy. Everyone marveled at the Walker on the First Free Saturday in May.

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Felix and Kelly Allard contemplate and sketch a few apples in the Art Lab. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Lochlan and Nathan Allard have the same smile and draw crazy oranges together. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Art teacher LeaAnne Jasper encourages her daughter, Adra, with her picture. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Veronica Sierra’s daughter, Carolina, spells out her name for me as she colors her artwork. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Nathan and Tom Masuda put on their best smiles for the camera. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

Elias Kinfu, Reid Neeser, Patty Decker, and Sandra Neeser rest and take in the view of Jim Hodges’ steel-clad stones in Untitled. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

Lee Jensen and Hae-eun Park admire For Whom… and greenery in the Sculpture Garden. They moved here from San Francisco and, thankfully, skipped the harsh winter. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

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Ama, Daunte, and Tyanna enjoy the cool spring weather while walking around the Garden. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

The wind billows up Paul and Andrew Knoth's coats as they explore Belvedere.

The wind billows up Paul and Andrew Knoth’s coats as they explore Belvedere. Photo: Emylisa Warrick

Seen: Surveillance and the Super State

Liam Gillick’s mural The Whatnot Itself Becomes a Super State (2008)—part of the 9 Artists exhibition, and just acquired for the Walker collection, as captured on a Walker security camera and re-mediated by curator Bartholomew Ryan on Instagram. “Seen” highlights one-off photos of Walker life as captured by our staff.

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Liam Gillick’s mural The Whatnot Itself Becomes a Super State (2008)—part of the 9 Artists exhibition, and just acquired for the Walker collection, as captured on a Walker security camera and re-mediated by curator Bartholomew Ryan on Instagram.

“Seen” highlights one-off photos of Walker life as captured by our staff.

Valentine’s Message: “I’m Your Man! Love, Sufjan”

Ryan Brink killed it on Valentine’s Day. The book specialist in the Walker Shop, he was picking out a Valentine’s card for his girlfriend Claire and figured he couldn’t go wrong with a handmade block-printed card by Ghost Academy. Then Sufjan Stevens walked into the Shop and helped up his game. Brink sheepishly approached Stevens, […]

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Ryan Brink killed it on Valentine’s Day. The book specialist in the Walker Shop, he was picking out a Valentine’s card for his girlfriend Claire and figured he couldn’t go wrong with a handmade block-printed card by Ghost Academy. Then Sufjan Stevens walked into the Shop and helped up his game.

Brink sheepishly approached Stevens, who would perform with his trio Sisyphus at the Walker later that night during the opening of Jim Hodges’ retrospective, and asked him to sign the card. Stevens laughed and grabbed the pen, writing a message that Brink assures went over well with Claire:

Claire
You’re making a huge mistake with this boy Ryan. I’m your man!

XXOO

Love,
Sufjan

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