Blogs Walker Seen Emylisa Warrick

Emylisa Warrick is the summer 2014 Web Content Intern for the Walker. She is expanding her web skill set, learning about non-profit organizations, and carving out time for poetry.

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?”

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

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