7 thoughts on “Blurring the Lines: Walker Art Center’s Open Field”

  1. I visited the Walker during Open Field 2011. I was impressed by the calendar of events and the way the community adopted (and occasionally co-opted) this project was fascinating. I brushed up on my lawn game skills with supplies from the Tool Shed, ate great BBQ, and toured a temporary house built in the sculpture park. It was cool to see an active, participatory art-related space being enjoyed by so many different kinds of people. Instead of just feeling like a pretty museum’s backyard, the sculpture park served as an extension of the museum. Some people visited the museum and the park while others chose just one activity and that’s okay. I was also pleased to see Open Field’s presence at the AAM Annual Meeting in Minneapolis in 2012. I spent way too much time making buttons for that summer’s Open Field. It was the least I could do to pay the Walker back for the great time I had.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Adrianne! And I agree that a truly diverse group of people has come out to engage in Open Field through its various projects — not your typical museum audience. I’m so interested to see what the future holds for this project.

  2. Mike, I´ve never been to the museum and the “Open Field” you are talking about, but in any case here´s my point of view or at least, my Spanish point of view.I think these kind or perfomances are possible when talking about contemporary art museums, but what about baroque era? How can we go about “blurring the lines” with Velazquez? I would rather not blur…!!!also I don´t think this is possible.
    In Spain one of the main sources or art is the baroque era.So what do cultural managers do here in order to involve people with art? some nice experiences are dramatasized visits and dramatasized parties where all the people from the village are invited to dress up with clothes from the 17 century, learn dances with the music from this time and help foreing people have a lot of fun during baroque festival .Lerma is one exemple.As a result, each summer the amount of visitors increases, and even in winter.Have a look to citlerma.com and my video on the blog patrimonioparajovenes.com “Fiestas barrocas de Lerma”

    1. Pilar – Thanks so much for your response to these ideas. I appreciate your questions about these types of experiences with artworks that are not contemporary. At the Portland Art Museum, we have an encyclopedic collection that includes much more than contemporary and modern art — and, in fact, many of the participatory “Shine a Light” projects (that I’ll described more in a future post) connect to non-contemporary works, or more generally address the larger museum experience (and do not focus in on one work or collection area). In my opinion, there is always a way to generate creative, playful experiences around any art in the collection, especially if it is done in a way that is smart and relevant to the artwork and its cultural/social context in some way. The festivals and dancing you refer to sounds like a successful, fun, and open way of connecting more people and communities to the work of Spanish Baroque artists (the video was great!).

  3. Thanks for your answer,Mike, I´m glad to have the opportunity to visit the Portland Art Museum online.It looks very interesting and if I go to Portland,I´ll visit it in person, you can be sure!congratulations on your blog and wonderful articles.Greetings from Spain

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