What’s New at The Walker?
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With all the construction always happening in Minnesota, you may have not even noticed that the Walker has been undergoing some serious renovations of its own.
The Walker Art Center has been around since 1927. Located near Lowry Hill, the contemporary art museum is one of the most visited in the United States with an annual attendance of around 700,000 visitors. It has long been a staple in Minneapolis, featuring works like the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture and Big Self-Portrait by Chuck Close. The Walker’s chief of strategic communications, Annie Gillette Cleveland, gave more information on what has been changing this year.
“The first phase of the Walker campus renovations opened this November,” said Cleveland. “It included a newly constructed plaza on Vineland Place, an expanded main lobby, a new restaurant, and new artworks on view including Liz Larner’s X and a monumental collage by Minnesota-based artist Frank Big Bear.”
In addition, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Cowles Conservatory both saw major changes. The pond underneath the Spoonbridge was reconstructed, and the Conservatory, which is re-opening in the summer of 2017, has been redesigned.
“The newly constructed spaces at the Walker are designed by award-winning architects from Hammel, Green & Abrahamson to enhance visitor orientation, circulation, and connection to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The Garden reconstruction will replace falling infrastructure, improve sustainability and longevity for future generations, and add several new artworks to the garden and Walker campus.”
For any place that sees many young adults visit, it’s important to keep the attractions fresh and exciting. Through repairing and replacing deteriorating garden features, such as stairways, walkways, and fences; introducing storm-water management to improve drainage and energy efficiency; and expanding accessibility and safety, the Walker has slowly but surely been creating a better environment to enjoy artwork.
Though some of the surrounding attractions are closed, the Walker Art Center is still available to roam. They offer many discounts, including free gallery admission to members and everyone under 18. There is free admission on Thursdays and the first Saturday of every month. You can visit their website to stay updated.