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Press Releases Walker Art Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in Summer 2013

Minneapolis, MN, January 31, 2013— Drawing more than 325,000 visitors each year, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of the Twin Cities’ most-loved destinations. The Garden celebrates its 25th anniversary in summer 2013 with a special series of performances, family programs, film screenings, and other events beginning in May and running through September 2013.

Anniversary programming will feature the highly popular Artist-Designed Mini Golf, last presented in 2008. Two seven-hole courses, with a shared 8th hole, feature Garden-themed mini-golf holes designed by Minnesotan architects, artists, and designers.

The anniversary celebration will culminate with the opening of the exhibition Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties, the largest exhibition to date focusing on groundbreaking and emblematic early work from one of Pop’s most widely admired artists. The exhibition, organized by MUMOK (Museum Moderner Kunst) in Vienna, opens at the Walker on September 21, 2013 in conjunction with “Avant Garden,” the Walker’s annual benefit staged in the Sculpture Garden. Oldenburg, with his late wife, Coosje van Bruggen, also designed the Sculpture Garden’s iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Since opening in 1988, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden has become one of the Twin Cities’ most popular and acclaimed attractions, with over eight million visits in its 25 years. One of the largest urban sculpture parks in the United States, it features four 100-foot-square plazas containing works by leading American and international artists; the Cowles Conservatory, which houses seasonal plantings and a glass-and-wood sculpture, Standing Glass Fish, by California architect Frank Gehry; the 29-foot-high fountain-sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry, designed for the Garden by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, which has become a visual landmark of the Twin Cities; the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, a 375-foot-long footbridge designed by Twin Cities-based artist Siah Armajani, which spans 16 lanes of traffic and connects the Garden to Loring Park; and, in the expanded north end of the Garden, the Arlene Grossman Memorial Arbor and Flower Garden. The 11.2-acre Garden is a joint project of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

May 23–September 8, 10 am–10 pm

Open 7 days a week (Sunday-Wednesday, 10 am–8; Thursday–

Saturday, 10 am-10 pm)

$12 adults, $10 students, and $9 members and children under 12

Two seven-hole courses feature garden-themed mini-golf holes designed by artists, architects, and designers. The courses feature a shared eighth hole. Visitors will encounter a game of golf twister, a tiered Zen garden, garden gnome foosball, a giant ant farm, swarming bee hives, a glittering Rock the Garden soundscape, spiraling gopher holes, and a French bagatelle game. Copresented with mnartists.org.

Hole 1

Gopher Hole

Locus Architecture

Gopher Hole, designed by Locus Architecture, challenges golfers to combine chance, putting skill, and physical analysis. The hole combines a converging chute, an elevated centripetal cone, gopher tunnels, and an obstacle laden putting green. Can you predict where your ball will pop up?

Hole 2

Roaming Hole Gardens


Deceptively simple in design and appearance, Roaming Hole Garden by Makesh!t transforms the familiar mini-golf experience with a crucial twist: the hole roams. By moving topiary plugs from one hole to another, players change the object of the round for everyone, thereby altering the competitive and strategic landscape. The course’s artificial trees, shrubs and flowers are not merely aesthetic adornments but mobile equipment. To play, you need to learn only one new rule: “On your turn hit your ball OR move the hole.”

Hole 3

18 Holes in One

David Lefkowitz and Stephen Mohring

18 Holes in One, by David Lefkowitz and Stephen Mohring, is a physical manifestation of an overlay of all 18 legendary greens as Augusta National Golf Course, home of the Master’s Tournament. The result will thrill and challenge both the novice and seasoned mini-golfer alike. With 18 potential targets in their sites as they approach the undulating surface of the composite structure, they will encounter a non-linear spatio-temporal golfing experience like no other.

Hole 4

Garden Gnome Foosball

Nicola Carpenter, Susanne Carpenter and Bryan Carpenter

A mash-up of mini golf and foosball with garden gnome strikers is presented by Nicola Carpenter and Bryan Carpenter! The course first makes a half circle turn assisted noisily by submerged wheelbarrows, a continuous mild incline raises the ball to flat playing field upon which the player and/or friends of the player may help the ball to its goal via the gnome strikers. Will the garden implements be helpful or hazardous on your journey through the artificial foliage to the gooooooooooooooooal?

Hole 5

Zen Rock (The) Garden

Sarah Balk McGrill and Wesley Thayne Petersen

Zen Gardens are intended to imitate the intimate essence of nature, not its actual appearance, and to promote meditation about the true meaning of life. Zen Rock (The) Garden, by McGrill and Petersen, brings this concept to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden mini golf field, with the added element of play, and a focus on sustainable design.

Hole 6

Garden Maze

David Hultman and David Wulfman

Hultman and Wulfman have created a two dimensional, bi-directional pivoting frame, on the surface of which is patterned a maze embellished in the garden maze motif. The hole is also decorated with multiple labyrinthine paths and associated gold ball sized traps.

Hole 7

Rock! Garden.

Aaron Dysart

Riffing off the multiple meanings of rock, Rock! Garden by Dysart will require bank shots off colorful, glittery fiberglass rocks that will contain musical instruments (xylophone, tambourine, drum, taunt strings). The hole borrows its layout from iconic Zen rock garden while its aesthetic stems from the flashy finishes of musical instruments. Players will have to unleash their inner rockstar to gain the enlightenment of a birdie.

Hole 8

“Can You Handle This?”

Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman

“Can You Handle This?” by Loftus and Schwartzman brings together our favorite elements of a good mini-golf hole: A kitschy and themed aesthetic, a new take on classic obstacles and a combination of skill and chance. We take the idea of garden and translate it into a giant watering can. Players have to loop through its handle from which the ball will fall into the can, out the spout and onto the lower putting green. Golfers must then putt through pools of water and giant flowers to make it to the hole.

Hole 9

Be A Sculpture!

Nicola Carpenter, Bryan Carpenter, Susanne Carpenter and Sean Donovan

Be A Sculpture! Invites people to engage with mini-golf in a different way. You become the obstacles for your friends! Taking cues from sculptures found in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, place your feet on the colorful footprints and become a sculpture yourself.

Hole 10

Earth Avenues

Stormi Balise

When players walk up a constructed hill to step up to the tee, nature becomes larger than life as flower beds give way to the subterranean world laid out by ants. Through chance selection, players watch their ball tumble through an organic arcade; the ball twists from one direction to the next until it rests either in a cup as a hole in one, or back onto the green after its been tossed from the far side of the construction. Plotted and trellised land merges with nature’s affinity for the unexpected as players explore Earth’s Avenues by Balise.

Hole 11

Holey Lighted

Jeffrey Pauling and Tyler Whitehead

Holey Lighted by Pauling and Whitehead is a hole that calls into question the nature of nature. By using digital fabrication techniques and a non-organic material, the hole attempts to recreate the sensation of a shaded canopy in summer, while the player navigates multiple folded steel planes. The constructive forces of nature help inform the overall form, structure and experience.

Hole 12

Le Bagatelle de Bagatelle

Karl Unnasch

This hole by Unnasch, designed as a game board known as a bagatelle, is played as a tribute to the pivotal history (circa 1770’s) where French parlor games of skill developed into gambling games of chance in an era of opulence and excess. The playing field consists of a small scale version of the Chateau de Bagatelle and its accompanying gardens.

Hole 13


Alyssa Baguss and Alison Hiltner

Swarm by Baguss and Hiltner explores a failed agrarian culture, inspired by aerial views of pivot irrigation, the landscape now arid and repurposed by new inhabitants whose only visual imprint is their architecture. Fallen civilizations leave remnants of their existence behind, reclaimed and intermingled with the naturally occurring landscape transformed into a garden of long lost potential. Players are challenged to work their way through the landscape as an ominous hum echoes through the chambers of the structure, leaving one with a sense of unease as to what resides within. Through craterous insect nests into watershed carved alluvial flats the players will traverse this par 4 environment of the future’s past.

Hole 14 & 15

These holes will be designed by students from the University of Minnesota’s public art course taught by Chris Larson in the spring 2013 semester. This community partnership looks at mini-golf through the lens of public art while giving students a direct experience with the Walker’s curatorial practice.


Rock the Garden

Saturday, June 15, 4–11 pm

Vineland Place

Band Line-up Announced: Tuesday, April 16 The Walker Art Center and 89.3 The Current present the music event of the season with this all-ages, rain-or-shine street party featuring both established and emerging acts. Rock the Garden includes live broadcasts from DJs of 89.3 The Current and an array of food vendors.


Fritz Haeg: At Home in the City

May 11–November 17, 2013

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden/Medtronic Gallery

How do we make ourselves at home in the city? What does it mean to grow and harvest our own food and resourcefully and artfully make ourselves at home? These are some of the questions explored by Fritz Haeg, artist-in-residence at the Walker in association with the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s 25th anniversary. Haeg’s practice spans a range of disciplines—architecture, performance, design, education, gardening, and ecology—and includes projects as varied as public dances, urban parades, temporary encampments, edible gardens, videos, and publications. He often creates environments that respond to particular places, working in collaboration with local residents and groups. Through a new series of projects, the artist will work with the Twin Cities community on gardens, events, and installations that collectively reimagine our everyday relationships to the land, the home, the city, and each other.

The residency launches in May with Edible Estate #15, the last edition of Haeg’s ongoing initiative to replace the urban front lawn with highly visible productive gardens. Through an open call for participants, one local household will be selected to work with the artist, neighbors, friends, and volunteers to transform their yard into an organic edible garden.

In the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, he will establish Foraging Circle (May–September 2013), a newly planted area of wild plants native to Minnesota. Situated at the center of garden, one of Haeg’s geodesic dome structures serves as a headquarters for public workshops, conversations, meals, and events related to local gardening, food production, and urban farming.

The project culminates with Domestic Integrities A05 (August 8–November 17, 2013), an exhibition in the Medtronic Gallery of new work that explores local patterns and rituals of domestic interior landscapes. This ongoing series examines ways in which gardens and landscapes are harvested and brought into the home. The centerpiece of the installation is a large crocheted rug nearly 30 feet in diameter, made by participants on-site. The space will host weekly rotations of what the artist refers to as “Domestic Integrities”—activities and items based on or made with materials gathered from their environment, from pickled vegetables and baked bread to herbal arrangements and homemade remedies. Also included is documentation of Haeg’s previous editions of Edible Estates and Domestic Integrities as they have unfolded around the world. Curators: Sarah Schultz and Eric Crosby

Fritz Haeg: At Home in the City is made possible by generous support from the Bush Foundation.


Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties

September 21, 2013–January 12, 2014

Galleries 4, 5, 6

This is the largest exhibition to date to focus on the groundbreaking and emblematic early work of one of Pop’s most widely admired artists. Bringing together nearly 300 works from collections around the world, Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties showcases a broad range of the artist’s sculptures—including prized works from the Walker Art Center’s collection such as Upside Down City (1962), Shoestring Potatoes Spilling from a Bag (1966), and Three-Way Plug—Scale A, Soft, Brown (1975). It also highlights his key role in Happenings and other interdisciplinary performance art of the early 1960s.

The exhibition showcases several major bodies of work from Oldenburg’s formative years. A section he designated The Street features a graffiti-inspired installation focused on the underbelly of urban life; works from The Store include his celebrated sculptures of food and everyday goods. Film footage from various Happenings, which combined performance with many of these sculptural objects, costumes, and props, brings audiences into the action of the moment. An area entitled The Home is devoted to sculptures of large-scale domestic objects created in “soft,” “hard,” and other versions. The Monument shows the development of the artist’s huge public sculptures in drawings and collages from the mid-’60s.

The show culminates with a rare presentation of Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing, walk-in installations that feature hundreds of objects collected by the artist, demonstrating the incredible variety—and mystery—of consumer culture. Throughout the galleries, sketches, snapshots, home movies, and slide projections give insight into the mind, heart, and creative process of an artist known for his humorous and profound depictions of the everyday. A major catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

Organizing curator: Achim Hochdörfer, MUMOK (Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig), Vienna

Walker coordinating curator: Siri Engberg

The Walker’s presentation is sponsored by US Bank

Major support for the exhibition is provided by John L. Thomson. Additional support is generously provided by Miriam and Erwin Kelen.


Target Free Thursday Nights

Thursdays, 5–9 pm, Free

Take part in an eclectic mash-up of events outdoors in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden every Thursday night. Learn the basics of gardening, food production, and urban farming from local community growers at artist Fritz Haeg’s Foraging Circle, a newly planted area of wild, indigenous-to-Minnesota plants. A dome structure within Foraging Circle serves as a hub for weekly public workshops and conversations. Other highlights include World Listening Day, July 18, a day for tuning into the soundscape and acoustic environment of the Garden and our locality, collectively with the world—head inside for free talks and gallery admission. Or stay outside and play a round of mini-golf and enjoy food and beverages at the course.

Target Free Thursday Nights sponsored by Target


Summer Music & Movies

Mondays, July 29–August 19 in Loring Park.

For over three decades, this popular program co-presented with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board pairs local and national bands with classic films projected under the stars. The events will be on four consecutive Mondays in Loring Park across the Siah Armajani’s Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. This year’s films include selections from the Walker’s Ruben/Benston Film and Video Study Collection.

Media Partner 89.3 The Current


Thursdays, July 11, 18, and 25

In celebration of The 25th Anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Walker presents three Target Free Thursday Night screenings of experimental/avant garde films from the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden starting at dusk. Each evening will consist of thematically linked short films by artists such as Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger, Rene Clair, and Marcel Duchamp.

Major support to preserve, digitize, and present the Ruben/Benston Film and Video Study Collection is generously provided by the Benston Foundation.


With over 40 works currently installed in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the park has grown and changed throughout the past 25 years. In celebration of the Garden’s 25th anniversary, the Walker will be installing new sculptures in the spring. These works will be unveiled in May.


June Free First Saturday: At Home in the City

Saturday June 1, 10 am–3 pm, Free

Many species call the garden home— animals, plants and humans. Help kick off Fritz Haeg’s most recent project, Foraging Field, and consider how we share the land through a range of activities led by artists and organizations from around the Twin Cities.

July Free First Saturday: Urban Green

Saturday July 6, 10 am–3 pm, Free

How do we nurture our city and make it a sustainable place to live? Join us for a day that brings community together to talk about what positive impacts we can have on our environment. Participate in workshops, demonstrations, and art-making that will inspire the humanitarian in everyone.

August Free First Saturday: Grassroots

Saturday August 3, 10 am–3 pm, Free

Our creative, social, and familial networks shape the people we are and the city we live in. This daylong extravaganza of homegrown talent features the dance performance Momentum in the Garden and collaborative crafting including a giant crocheted rug.

September Free First Saturday: From the Garden with Love

Saturday September 7, 10 am–3 pm, Free

It’s a harvest and birthday party rolled into one! With the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and closure of the Foraging Field, we celebrate the end of the season with gifts and memories of the Garden.

Free First Saturday is sponsored by Ameriprise Financial and The Medtronic Foundation


Momentum in the Garden

Saturday, August 3, 11 am and 2 pm, Free

Three choreographers previously commissioned and presented through the Momentum: New Dance Works series, perform in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden as part of the anniversary celebration. Choreographers include Kenna Cottman, who draws on Senegalese wrestling matches/dance forms for this new work; contemporary choreographer (and former punk rock skateboarder) Chris Schlichting, whose dance aesthetic is based on repetition and patterns that are disrupted by surprising pedestrian gestures; and Kaleena Miller, who, after touring with the percussive tap and drum ensemble Rhythmic Circus, choreographs a new tap/percussive dance work involving a large cast and live percussion. These free performances are a part of August’s Free First Saturday program.


Avant Garden 2013

The Walker’s Annual Benefit

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Celebrate the end of summer with Avant Garden, the Walker’s annual benefit, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the opening of Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties. Experience a transformed Garden full of music, art, gourmet fare and cocktails at this stylish affair. Mingle with friends, hit the dance floor and bid on one-of-a-kind auction items during this night out. Round out the evening with a special After Hours Party celebrating the opening of Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties.

Avant Garden 2013 is sponsored by Target, Blu Dot, and BMW of Minnesota


Twin Cities Public Television has produced a documentary that chronicles the history of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Through a series of interviews and historic footage, viewers will not only understand the history of the land and development that led to the building of this cultural gem, but they’ll appreciate the impact the Sculpture Garden has had on both the Twin Cities community and other urban sculpture parks over the last 25 years. The premiere airs Sunday, May 26, 7 pm CST on TPT, channel 2 in the Twin Cities. Check local listings for channel information.

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society


The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a project of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, is an ideal setting for sculptures of various sizes, from human-scale bronzes to towering constructions in steel. Expanded in 1992, the 11-acre Garden offers visitors from around the world an unusual opportunity to view important 20th-century art out-of-doors.

The original 7.5-acre Garden, made up of four 100-foot-square tree-lined plazas inspired by Renaissance and 18th-century Italian garden models, was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, architect of the Walker’s 1971 building, in association with landscape architect Peter Rothschild, of Quennell Rothschild Associates, New York. The 1992 expansion, adding 3.7 acres less formally structured than the original acreage, was designed by the landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The sculptures on view along the Garden’s walkways and in its plazas date from the early 20th century to the present. Styles range from the archetypal organic abstraction of Henry Moore’s Reclining Mother and Child (1960–1961) to the social realism of George Segal’s Walking Man (1988).

A spectacular focal point in the Garden is the 29-foot-high Spoonbridge and Cherry (1987–1988) fountain-sculpture designed by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. Spanning a free-form pond in the Garden’s middle sector is a gigantic gray spoon with a Bing-red cherry in its bowl. Visible from all points of the Garden, it has become a symbol for Minneapolis.

Amidst vine-covered arches and changing horticultural displays in the three-part Cowles Conservatory is Frank Gehry’s sculpture Standing Glass Fish (1986). Attracting visitors’ attention, the 25-foot-tall see-through leviathan rises from a lily pond surrounded by palm trees.

The Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge (1988) reflects the vision of the Minneapolis-based artist Siah Armajani. This double-arched footbridge connects the Garden to Loring Park, representing a major link to the downtown area and, subsequently, to the central Minneapolis riverfront. “As far as public art is concerned, that is the best piece I have ever done,” says Armajani. “It doesn’t leave anything unfinished or unresolved. It doesn’t mean it’s the most beautiful thing in the world, but it is unified, it is complete and, for me, that is a gift from God.”

The section added in 1992 contrasts the geometric formality of the original Garden area. The 3.7-acre section features groves of deciduous trees, a rectangular, granite-paved sculpture plaza for rotating exhibitions, a 300-foot-long vine-covered arbor, and a perennial garden. Permanently sited in this area of the Garden are Scott Burton’s Seat-Leg Table (1986/refabricated 1991), Mark di Suvero’s Molecule (1977–1983), and Judith Shea’s Without Words (1988).

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: 25th Anniversary 2013

View of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry (1985–1988) in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Gift of Frederick R. Weisman in honor of his parents, William and Mary Weisman, 1988