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Preview the 2017 Jewelry and Accessory Makers Mart

In anticipation of the 2017 Walker’s Jewelry and Accessory Makers Mart on February 4, we interviewed three of the designers whose work will be on view this year. More than 15 jewelry artists—as well as accessory designers—will present their unique, hand-crafted products. With 10 new artists from across the country participating in the event, the Makers […]

In anticipation of the 2017 Walker’s Jewelry and Accessory Makers Mart on February 4, we interviewed three of the designers whose work will be on view this year. More than 15 jewelry artists—as well as accessory designers—will present their unique, hand-crafted products. With 10 new artists from across the country participating in the event, the Makers Mart will be more diverse and celebratory than ever before. You’re invited to stop by, browse, and get to know the makers. To give you a head start we got the conversation rolling already. Amanda Stolle of Bird Industries, Emily Thelemann of Shimmering Carbon, and Christina Hankins of Urban Gypsy Design give insight into their art, personal business stories, and creative processes.

Bird Industries by Amanda Stolle

Bird Industries, Diamond Necklace

Bird Industries diamond necklace

How did you decide to get into business?

About 8 years ago I was commuting by bike every day. I wanted to wear the clothing that reflected my style but still be comfortable on my bike. I started creating functional, stylish accessories so I could do just that! My friends began wearing the items I created too, and it grew from there.

Are you inspired by the materials you use, the form you give them, or both?

I started out being inspired by the form and functionality of accessories, but lately I’m more inspired by the materials. Upcycling bicycle inner tubes for jewelry has been a great exploration. The material is so lightweight, and layering the tubes gives even more variety as well.

Bird Industries, Diamond Plus Necklace

Bird Industries diamond plus necklace

If you could collaborate with any artist/designer/maker, who would it be?

Though they’re no longer alive, I would love to have collaborated with Charles and Ray Eames. Their designs are classic. They created everything from surface patterns, to furniture, to short films. I don’t see why they wouldn’t make gorgeous accessories as well!

Do you have any products you are particularly excited to showcase at the Makers Mart?

I’m excited to show my inner tube statement necklaces, which were created specifically for the Walker event and are my newest pieces. The metallic and black together make a polished yet industrial look. I can see these as everyday pieces, or worn with something more formal.

Bird Industries, Square Necklace

Bird Industries square necklace

What do you like about being a Minnesota Maker?

Minnesota has a very supportive maker community. We have unique shops that feature Minnesota artists, maker collaborations, and incredible events. There’s so much creativity in this town, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

 

Shimmering Carbon by Emily Thelemenn

Shimmering Carbon

Shimmering Carbon hand-stamped sterling silver circle bracelet

Describe what you make.

I make jewelry with exotic woods, sterling silver, and stones.

How did you get started in jewelry-making?

Growing up on a farm seven miles from town my creative juices started early as a kid. I was drawn to working with my hands, and started early on making friendship bracelets and beading. I went to UW-Milwaukee with no idea what I was going to study. I heard about a jewelry-making class, and after my first class I fell in love and knew this was the perfect fit for me.

Shimmering Carbon

Shimmering Carbon sterling silver stackable rings

What’s a day in your studio like?

That is the exciting part, everyday looks a little different. Depending if I am making a custom engagement ring or piece for a client, I could be sketching, carving, or finishing up a one-of-a-kind piece. Some days I do jewelry repairs for customers; others I just play creatively, designing and making new pieces for upcoming shows and art fairs.

From where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I love being outdoors and experiencing the beauty and phases of the change in nature. I love taking walks and runs in the woods; a lot of ideas come to me with movement, and I try to incorporate that into my pieces. I am attracted to clean, geometric lines, so architecture is very inspirational to me. Part of the fun in working with wood is handpicking each piece, cutting it open, and discovering the patterns that emerge. This inspires unique pieces for me.

Shimmering Carbon

Shimmering Carbon wood and sterling silver pendants

What do you enjoy most about your creative work?

The feeling of excitement you get from living your passion and working with people to create a piece that expresses them and brings joy to them by wearing it every day. I love getting engrossed in the creative process as it becomes playful and different ideas come to me.

 

Urban Gypsy Design by Christina Hankins

Urban Gypsy Design hand-crafted leather bags

Urban Gypsy Design hand-crafted leather bags

What inspired you to transform your visual art into a line of hand-crafted bags?

My original background is in painting and drawing, but I have always loved fashion. Ten years ago I started to conceptualize a product that would combine my visual art with the functionality of a handbag. I wanted the look to have a bohemian vibe and be inspired by art and travel. I started by experimenting with different materials and processes, such as recycled wool, wet felting, hand painting, and hand-carved block prints on leather.

Urban Gypsy Design uptown black oak

Urban Gypsy Design cross-body “Uptown” bag in espresso with wildflower print

How do you create your products?

I start by designing and carving an image on a block to make a print, which is stamped onto a piece of leather. The print images are inspired by Chinese paper cuts, Japanese textiles, and vintage floral designs. Next, I create a pattern for the bag, then hand-cut each piece out of full-grain leather. The pieces are then glued, edge coated, and sewn into the final product. Every bag is also lined in fabric with interior pockets.

What’s your favorite thing about working with leather?

Its durability and the range of ways it can be used.

Urban Gypsy Design applique indian SJC

Urban Gypsy Design leather tote with floral applique

What was the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business?

The large learning curve in transitioning from painting to handbag design. I had to learn pattern-making and sewing skills and gain an understanding of my new material of choice. I also had to invest in equipment. There were a lot of missteps along the way in my design-making, but I learned valuable lessons from my mistakes and customer feedback.

Do you have advice for aspiring Makers?

Be tenacious, know your craft and the rest will fall into place.

 

Join Amanda, Emily, Christina, and more artists for the 2017 Jewelry and Accessory Makers Mart in the Skyline Room on Saturday, February 4, 11 am–5 pm.

Walker members enjoy a 10% discount on all purchases, as well as complimentary mimosas and first pick of the jewelry and accessories at a special preview, 10–11 am. Members RSVP here or call 612.375.7655.

Seen: Marked Leather at the Walker Shop

As the first designer featured in the Walker Shop’s new Local Maker Profiles, Scott Loeser of Marked Leather is capturing our attention with his beautifully crafted, ruggedly stylish bags and the stories behind them. Using reclaimed leather to create unique products, Marked Leather shares a dedication to responsible upcycling of used materials as well as […]

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As the first designer featured in the Walker Shop’s new Local Maker Profiles, Scott Loeser of Marked Leather is capturing our attention with his beautifully crafted, ruggedly stylish bags and the stories behind them. Using reclaimed leather to create unique products, Marked Leather shares a dedication to responsible upcycling of used materials as well as a creative commitment to the history preserved in each scuff and scratch. Marked Leather goods are handmade in Minnesota and designed to function effortlessly in daily life with their classic structure and aesthetic. In advance of his December 11 visit to the Walker for Art School, Loeser talks about finding a niche for his company, calling the artistic shots, and Minnesota makers to appreciate.

marked-leather-duffel-weekender

Describe what you make: I make leather carry goods like satchels, duffles, and totes. The leather I select for my products is heavily branded and blemished. I think this part of the hide shares the most character and really tells a story.

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Marked Leather Weekender Bag in dark brown

When and how did you get started? I started in 2012 in my Uptown apartment. I started hand sewing wallets there. The money that I sold from the wallet sales helped me afford my first major order of leather that would become the first line of Marked Leather goods.

marked-leather-miel

Marked Leather Top Loading Duffel in miel

Where do you make your goods? Currently I have a shared studio space in Northeast Minneapolis. I make some of the bags there myself. The manufacturing that I do is all done in Wabasha, Minnesota. They make the more involved designs.

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Marked Leather Shanghai Bag in dark brown

What inspires what you make? I’ve always wanted to do my own thing, call the shots, etc. It wasn’t until after researching leather goods made especially with marked leather and finding none that I thought it was worth a shot trying to be the first to create a quality, high-end leather bag with that material.

marked-leather-satchel-duffel-weekender-b

What other MN Makers do you love? Knots Belt and Clothing Co., Mill City Fineries, and the Great Lakes Collection.

Advice to aspiring makers: This takes time!! And some money, but more importantly patience. There isn’t just one way to create a business so remember to be as creative with that as you are with designing.

Join Loeser this Sunday, December 11, during our Art School workshop for a conversation on designing with reclaimed material and breaking into the American cut and sew industry, as part of the. Check out his work on Instagram and Twitter (@markedleather).

Student Open House: The Time is Now!

Young people took over the Walker on November 12th for Student Open House: The Time is Now! Dizzy Fae, Tiiiiiiiiiip, and Breon made wonderful sounds in a collaboration with Greenroom Magazine. There was art making with Red76, photo booths (pictures below), and wonderful energy that the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council helped cultivate. Be sure […]

#PopRemixMPLS

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Education, Public Programs; Target Free Thursday Nights; Pop Remix-Summer Evenings on the Walker Terraces and Garden Terrace Room. 
August 13, 2015.
Events include Art-Making: DIY Liquid Light Show, a screening of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Underground,  DJ: Adora Tokyo, a Fashion Show featuring Emma Berg and Christian Joy, and music by Wolf Lords: Renowned vocalist and songwriter Aby Wolf (Dessa, Brother Ali) teams up with multi-instrumentalist and beat mastermind Grant Cutler (LookBook, Solid Gold, Zoo Animal, Jeremy Messersmith) for lushly minimal soundscapes and groove-oriented atmospherics. 
Part of the exhibition, International Pop.

Minnesotans love a good patio

During the dog days of summer, many Minnesotans find themselves asking the same questions: “How can I spend the last warm evenings before the endless winter begins?” and “Where is the nearest patio to have a beer and relax with friends?” For the first three Thursdays in August, the Walker has an answer: Pop Remix. Located on the Walker’s terraces, Pop Remix features an eclectic mix of live music, film screenings, and art activities — all inspired by the remarkable exhibition International Pop. Best of all? It’s free.

Pop Remix was certainly the place to be last Thursday, August 13: the terraces were packed with people enjoying beautiful views of the skyline and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at dusk. The crowds parted for models parading through the terraces during the fashion show, showing off the works of designers Emma Berg and Christian Joy. Inside, partygoers watched Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Underground and created their own psychedelic Liquid Light Show. Towards the end of the night, local band Wolf Lords cooled the crowd down, while DJ Adora Tokyo started a full-fledged dance party on the roof of the Walker.

epp2015tfn0813popremix_ Education, Public Programs; Target Free Thursday Nights; Pop Remix-Summer Evenings on the Walker Terraces and Garden Terrace Room.  August 13, 2015. Events include Art-Making: DIY Liquid Light Show, a screening of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Underground,  DJ: Adora Tokyo, a Fashion Show featuring Emma Berg and Christian Joy, and music by Wolf Lords: Renowned vocalist and songwriter Aby Wolf (Dessa, Brother Ali) teams up with multi-instrumentalist and beat mastermind Grant Cutler (LookBook, Solid Gold, Zoo Animal, Jeremy Messersmith) for lushly minimal soundscapes and groove-oriented atmospherics.  Part of the exhibition, International Pop.

Pop Remix offered a great view of the Minneapolis skyline

epp2015tfn0813popremix_ Education, Public Programs; Target Free Thursday Nights; Pop Remix-Summer Evenings on the Walker Terraces and Garden Terrace Room.  August 13, 2015. Events include Art-Making: DIY Liquid Light Show, a screening of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Underground,  DJ: Adora Tokyo, a Fashion Show featuring Emma Berg and Christian Joy, and music by Wolf Lords: Renowned vocalist and songwriter Aby Wolf (Dessa, Brother Ali) teams up with multi-instrumentalist and beat mastermind Grant Cutler (LookBook, Solid Gold, Zoo Animal, Jeremy Messersmith) for lushly minimal soundscapes and groove-oriented atmospherics.  Part of the exhibition, International Pop.

DJ Adora Tokyo set the vibe for the night

Modeling clothing created by local fashion designer Emma Berg.

Modeling clothing created by local fashion designer Emma Berg

epp2015tfn0813popremix_ Education, Public Programs; Target Free Thursday Nights; Pop Remix-Summer Evenings on the Walker Terraces and Garden Terrace Room.  August 13, 2015. Events include Art-Making: DIY Liquid Light Show, a screening of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Underground,  DJ: Adora Tokyo, a Fashion Show featuring Emma Berg and Christian Joy, and music by Wolf Lords: Renowned vocalist and songwriter Aby Wolf (Dessa, Brother Ali) teams up with multi-instrumentalist and beat mastermind Grant Cutler (LookBook, Solid Gold, Zoo Animal, Jeremy Messersmith) for lushly minimal soundscapes and groove-oriented atmospherics.  Part of the exhibition, International Pop.

epp2015tfn0813popremix_ Education, Public Programs; Target Free Thursday Nights; Pop Remix-Summer Evenings on the Walker Terraces and Garden Terrace Room.  August 13, 2015. Events include Art-Making: DIY Liquid Light Show, a screening of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Underground,  DJ: Adora Tokyo, a Fashion Show featuring Emma Berg and Christian Joy, and music by Wolf Lords: Renowned vocalist and songwriter Aby Wolf (Dessa, Brother Ali) teams up with multi-instrumentalist and beat mastermind Grant Cutler (LookBook, Solid Gold, Zoo Animal, Jeremy Messersmith) for lushly minimal soundscapes and groove-oriented atmospherics.  Part of the exhibition, International Pop.

Designer Emma Berg takes a bow

Inside, kids escaped the heat by creating their own Liquid Light Show.

Inside, kids escaped the heat by creating their own Liquid Light Show

Aby Wolf and Grant Cutler of Wolf Lords put on a great performance

Aby Wolf and Grant Cutler of Wolf Lords put on a great performance

Crowds in front of Sol LeWitt's "Three x Four x Three" (1984)

Crowds in front of Sol LeWitt’s Three x Four x Three (1984)

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Sequins on point

What are you waiting for? Say goodbye to summer in the best way possible: join us for the last Pop Remix on August 20.

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.

“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.”

Free First Saturday: Birthday Bash

  The Walker Art Center was filled with excitement and wonder at January’s Free First Saturday Birthday Bash. Visitors celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Walker Art Center by enjoying cupcakes, art making, films, and performances. Families had a chance to walk inside a hot air balloon, chat with tour guides about the history of […]

 

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The Walker Art Center was filled with excitement and wonder at January’s Free First Saturday Birthday Bash. Visitors celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Walker Art Center by enjoying cupcakes, art making, films, and performances. Families had a chance to walk inside a hot air balloon, chat with tour guides about the history of art in the galleries and dress up for an art opening. Photographer Erin Smith was there to capture the faces and the fun during the festive day.

Enjoying cupcakes by chef Kristi Varner of Gigi's Cafe

Cupcakes by chef Kristi Varner of Gigi’s Cafe were enjoyed by all

Families were excited to get cupcakes by chef Kristi Varner of Gigi's Cafe

Families were excited to get cupcakes by chef Kristi Varner of Gigi’s Cafe

Visitors were delighted with the pop-up card activity

Visitors were delighted with the pop-up card activity

Creating pop-up cards

Leia Wambach demonstrates the pop-up cards activity

Leia Wambach demonstrated the pop-up card activity

Making a museum of the future in the art lab

The art lab was filled with mini museums of the future

Dietr Poppen, Levi Weinhagen, Andy Kraft in the performance of  The Time Wanderers.

Dietr Poppen, Levi Weinhagen, Andy Kraft in the performance of The Time Wanderers

Andy Kraft in the performance of  The Time Wanderers.

Andy Kraft had fun including the audience in the performance of The Time Wanderers.

Having fun inside a hot air balloon

All smiles inside a hot air balloon

Celebrating inside a hot air balloon

Visitors enjoying the galleries

Visitors enjoyed the galleries

Check out the photo booth pictures on the Walker's Flickr page, https://www.flickr.com/photos/walkerart/sets/72157650098789105/

Smirks and giggles at the photo booth. Check out all the images on Flickr

Getting ready for the photo booth.

Getting ready for the photo booth was half the fun. See more shots on Flickr

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Culture Shock at the Cocktail Reception for New Society

At times it can be useful to reflect upon an experience by observing the setting and circumstances a person is currently in; to use the present moment as a mirror to the previous. In considering Miranda July’s world premiere of New Society on October 30, 2014 at the McGuire Theater, this approach is not only […]

Miranda July Reception

At times it can be useful to reflect upon an experience by observing the setting and circumstances a person is currently in; to use the present moment as a mirror to the previous. In considering Miranda July’s world premiere of New Society on October 30, 2014 at the McGuire Theater, this approach is not only useful, but necessary. To maintain the truth and novelty in this performance for all who will attend – or rather, participate in – it, July has asked that no explicit details be published about the piece for one year.

As the Walker’s Contributing members gathered at a post-performance reception to mingle and react, Philip Bither, Senior Curator of Performing Arts, emphasized the importance of this rule. Bither pointed out that the structure of New Society allows for “a completely different show every night,” and that each one remains “truly a surprise,” for both performer and audience, which is what live theater is all about.

But as daily life is different every day and quite often a surprise, was it required this rule be established because the experience of live theater has become the opposite: an expectation of knowing what will happen ahead of time? How often today do audiences attend a performance simply because they do not know what will happen during the course of two hours? Perhaps this is what gives contemporary theater its modern relevance, but even July flips this concept on its head with her latest creation. The uncertainty in New Society is not only a nervous experience for the audience, but for the performer. July admits she was curious, eager, and anxious about her initial participants, wondering “who will all these people be?” And like a performing artist would thank their fellow actors, Miranda told this group of audience members, “thank you for coming through for me.”

It was all slightly surreal, returning to a non-theatrical setting after taking part in New Society. Although it was simply a cocktail hour, it was difficult not to notice people gathering in small groups to have private discussions, the photographer documenting our actions, the ability to walk wherever one liked, or to even not interact with others at all, and the large windows on the north wall. This hyperawareness of space and socialization pointed out the freedoms of daily life, and the limitations as well as the possibilities available within the walls of a theater. A  group of a few hundred confined in a space for a specific number of hours has the potential to experience almost anything – if they decide to. This is, at the core, what July accomplishes with New Society: a stark examination of our lives outside of theater by creating a new world within one.

July’s eyes sparkle with this concept in mind, commenting that there is “so much raw enthusiasm to be shaped” in a piece like hers, in theater that asks an audience to sit down and let go. Whereas our everyday lives are chained to expectation, theater gives us a unique freedom in that it allows an experience to be shaped for, or with us. Yet as the reception ended, it can be noted that even in real life, people still don’t like when the lights come up and they have to go home.

What Makes a Crazy Cat Lady…?

We saw thousands of feline fans again fill the grass at our Internet Cat Video Festival as part of Open Field on August 14. What began two years ago as an idea here at the Walker has expanded into a global phenomenon with screenings from Stockholm to Boise. With more than 100 hours of video […]

We couldn't have asked for a better cat frenzy atmosphere

We couldn’t have asked for a better cat frenzy atmosphere.

We saw thousands of feline fans again fill the grass at our Internet Cat Video Festival as part of Open Field on August 14. What began two years ago as an idea here at the Walker has expanded into a global phenomenon with screenings from Stockholm to Boise. With more than 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, the infamous “cat video” genre has attracted more than its fair share of traffic, with such celebrities as Grumpy Cat and Lil BUB (who made a festival appearance this year) garnering enough attention to draw 10,000 people to our hillside for a 70-minute montage of this year’s best kitty clips.

But why cats? Are these people weird or something? Armed with two legitimating staff t-shirts and a microphone, Emily and I set out on our first field assignment as Walker PR interns. We were determined to hear what these crazies had to say and to find the answer to our question: How many cats make a crazy cat lady crazy? We compiled a list to guide us on our way.

Sure signs you’re a crazy cat lady:

1. You don’t think you’re crazy.

2. Your family won’t admit to knowing you.

3. You are dressed as a cat.

4. You came to the Walker alone to watch internet cat videos.

As we wove our way between the blankets on the grass, we talked to visitors young and old, from far and near, who all insisted they were sane! “It would be crazy not to love cats!” they told us, and we found it hard to disagree—this seemed like a pretty fun crowd. From the face-painting to the food trucks, we began to pity those who had not yet stumbled upon the joy of watching Shorty the Cat go through banana addiction withdrawal. As we looked around at all the fun-having, we began to realize the crazy ones were those who would miss such an event.

Yes the costumes were wacky, but what truly struck us was the community these cats created. It seems Lil BUB’s biggest fans were simply happy to know that they weren’t crazy for loving internet cat videos—or if they were, at least they could all be crazy together for one night at the Walker.

These two weren't the only ones dressed for the occasion.

These two weren’t the only ones dressed for the occasion.

Considering the breadth of content on the internet these days, it seems almost unreasonable that such a specific corner of the web could draw such a crowd, and one that’s not afraid to admit to who they are.

Though watching internet cat videos alone in a dark basement can be pretty isolating (from what I’ve heard), these kitty vids gave us a reason to ditch the laptop for the lawn, and share a screen with our fellow cat-loving citizens for a night. Oh, and we updated our guide to the #catvidfest at Open Field, too!

Even surer signs you’re a crazy cat lady:

1. You dig free stuff.

2. You enjoy being part of a global phenomenon.

3. You dress up for things.

4. You are not boring.

5. You enjoy gourmet food trucks and craft beer.

6. You like being outside on a gorgeous summer night in the greatest city in the world.

After Hours: Under Construction

What do you get when you combine a brand new exhibition, a live band, vats of melted brie, art activities for adults, and a whole host of good looking people? Walker After Hours! Members, staff, and guests from near and far came together for a preview party to celebrate the opening of Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, a […]

What do you get when you combine a brand new exhibition, a live band, vats of melted brie, art activities for adults, and a whole host of good looking people? Walker After Hours! Members, staff, and guests from near and far came together for a preview party to celebrate the opening of Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, a solo show of work by the Mexico-city based artist.

(Left to Right) Caroline Kent, Walker Executive Director Olga Viso, Maria Jose Lopez, and Angela Robins

(Left to Right) Caroline Kent, Walker Executive Director Olga Viso, Maria Jose Lopez, and Angela Robins

Up in the tower that is (literally) under construction, Malamanya got everyone,  including the artist and exhibition curator, moving:

Adriana Rimpel of Malamanya

Adriana Rimpel of Malamanya

Abraham Cruzvillegas dancing with his wife Alejandra

Abraham Cruzvillegas dancing with his wife Alejandra

Shaun Regen and Walker Senior Curator Clara Kim

Shaun Regen and Walker Senior Curator Clara Kim

Bobby Wilson and Natasha Hilt

Bobby Wilson and Natasha Hilt

In the Art Lab, party-goers tried their hand at autoconstrucción. Check out this homage to the original Aeropuerto Alterno on view in the galleries:

3.!art lab.knives w duck record

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After the galleries, art making, and dancing there was always a good drink to be had:

(L to R) Blaire Moliter, Brandon Cotton, Mimi Jamaleldin, Brady Cotton, Lauren Villareal, and Kai Bawkol.

(L to R) Blaire Moliter, Brandon Cotton, Mimi Jamaleldin, Brady Cotton, Lauren Villareal, and Kai Bawkol.

Amalia Nicholson and Hannah Haugberg

Amalia Nicholson and Hannah Haugberg

(L to R) Paige Mathews, Paul Bochan, Emma Berg, and Rae Spencer

(L to R) Paige Mathews, Paul Bochan, Emma Berg, and Rae Spencer

Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites is on view at the Walker Art Center March 23–September 22, 2013.

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