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Olga Viso, Star Tribune staff photo by Tom Wallace
Walker Art Center's director Olga Viso will oversee the contemporary art center's curatorial affairs in the interim following the departure of Chief Curator Darsie Alexander who is leaving for a new post as executive director of the Katona Museum of Art in New York.
"All of us at the Walker are very excited about Darsie's new appointment and I am delighted to have a new colleague among the museum director ranks," Viso said in a statement. "I look forward to overseeing curatorial affairs at the Walker in the interim as we search for new curatorial talent for the team."
Trained as a curator, Viso has continued to organize exhibitions since taking the Walker post in 2008. Her book "Unseen Mendieta," about the pioneering feminist artist Ana Mendieta, was published the year she arrived in Minneapolis, and her exhibition "Guillermo Kuitca: Everything," opened in 2010. Next month she will open a new exhibition "Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take," the first U.S.survey of the poetic sculptures and mixed media work of the American artist from whom the Walker commissioned a major outdoor sculpture in 2013.
The Walker's curatorial departments include visual art, performing arts and film.
Previously Viso served 13 years at the Hirshhorn Museum of Art in Washington, D.C., starting as an assistant curator and rising to be deputy director in 2003.
Aspiring designers apply from top colleges and universities around the country and world for the opportunity to intern in Walker Art Center's design office, founded by Mildred "Mickey" Friedman. The year-long internship, which is now accepting applicants, has been named the Mildred S. Friedman Design Fellowship after Friedman who headed the department from 1970 until her retirement in 1991.
Among her pioneering exhibitions were shows of furniture and designs by L.A. architect Frank Gehry (1986), the historic DeStijl movement (1986), and "Tokyo: Form and Spirit," an innovative 1989 exploration of Japanese culture that was co-organized with her husband Martin Friedman, then the museum's director.
Prior to joining the Walker, Mickey had worked as a designer for Minneapolis architect Robert Cerny. In consultation with architect Edward Larrabee Barnes she designed furniture for the museum's 1971 building, and then developed an expansive design program for the Walker. Throughout the 1970s and '80s she edited Design Quarterly, a quixotic and influential Walker publication that dealt with everything and anything design-related from Julia Child's kitchen to typography and the course of the Mississippi River.
In 1980 she established the Walker's design internship program whose participants engage in all aspects of museum work from designing brochures and publications to exhibitions and public spaces. Graduates of the program have gone on to work at Apple, Dwell, Nike and other firms and museums, to open their own studios, and to teach at colleges and universities around the country.
Above: Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation (MIMMI), the 2013 Creative City Challenge winner
A consortium of Minneapolis arts and culture agencies is seeking entries in a competition to produce a $75,000 temporary art installation on the plaza adjacent to the Minneapolis Convention Center for the summer of 2014.
Entrants must be Minnesota residents. All proposals must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. central time, November 18, 2013. Three finalists will be selected by a professional jury and given $2,500 each to prepare a final proposal, due in December. Finalists will be judged by public voting in February 2014. The winner will be announced March 3, 2014.
Contest rules and information can be found online at http://www.minneapolis.org/minneapolis-convention-center/ccc/creative-city-challenge-submissions.
The 2014 Creative City Challenge is sponsored by the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy of the City of Minneapolis, and Meet Minnepolis, Convention & Visitors Association in collaboration with Northern Lights. mn and the Northern Spark festival.
In the 19th century, Richard Wagner was the prime exponent of Gesamtkunstwerk, the concept if integrating music, poetry, dance, and other visual elements into a single medium of dramatic expression. In the late 20th and early 21st, it's David Byrne. From his years with the Talking Heads through his Oscar-winning soundtrack for "The Last Emperor," his score for Twyla Tharp's dance project "The Catherine Wheel," his theater work, journals, and art installations turning old buildings into giant musical instruments, Byrne has employed every avenue of creative expression in one vast ongoing art project.
In 1986 he tried his hand at feature filmmaking with "True Stories," a look at a fictional Texas town and its off-kilter inhabitants. Byrne, who directed and co-wrote the script, appears in a 10-gallon hat as our deadpan tour guide, introducing us to the the optimistic, the lovelorn and the bedridden, the grandiose personalities and the wide open spaces. With a cast including John Goodman, Swoosie Kurtz and Spalding Grey, it's as eccentric as you would expect (well, more so), with a soaring soundtrack including "Radio Head," "Wild Wild Life" and "Puzzlin' Evidence."
Actor Stephen Tobolowsky ("Memento," "Glee"), who co-wrote the screenplay with Byrne will host a screening 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Walker Art Center. It's a rare chance to hear the true stories behind "True Stories." (Tickets $10 - $12; visit tickets.walkerart.org.)
Geoff McFetridge's 2012 design "3 by 3."
For the design savvy, Walker Art Center is the place to see and be seen on Tuesday nights in March. The Walker's "Insights" design lecture series will showcase talent from Los Angeles, Berlin and Amsterdam. Each of the four designers also has been commissioned to create a project for the Walker.
March 5: Los Angeles designer Geoff McFetridge of Champion Studio will launch the series with a talk about his whimsical, figurative designs which have garnished everything from limited-edition Nike sneakers to wallpaper and a music video for OK Go. The Walker hired McFetridge to design a pattern for the 10 ft. tall construction fence that will surround the museum's 1971 wing starting in early March.
The fence is expected to be in place through December while the building's original brick facade is removed, new insulation and drainage systems installed, and new bricks applied. In the 42 years since that section of the building opened, moisture seeped between the bricks and the concrete block understructure. The condensation eroded the inner surface of the bricks, necessitating their replacement.
March 12: Berlin-based Eike Honig calls his studio, Hort, a "playground for creative people." In practice, the firm's playful aesthetic has been applied to everything from record-sleeves to the signage for a German architectural icon, the original Bauhaus building designed by Walter Gropius. Konig, who teaches graphic design and illustration at the HfG University of Arts, Offenbach, is designing a web-based project for the Walker.
March 19: Remember psychedelia? That 60s moment is apparently thriving in Amsterdam where Job Wouters, a.k.a. Letman, is a "practitioner of the lost art of psychedelic, delirious penmanship," according to the Walker. Wouters' clients range from the New York Times Magazine to Audi, Tommy Hilfiger and Heineken. For them he's done everything from illustrations, fabrics, posters and typefaces to murals and body-paint designs. He is creating a mural for the Walker where his lecture will include a demo of his hand-lettering techniques.
March 26: The only one of the designers known to have issued a manifesto, Luna Maurer claims to use "logic-based design as a tool to understand the ungraspable." The Amsterdam-based designer is intrigued by the relationship between people and technology, and plans to involve the lecture audience in one of her "social experiments." Be warned: her previous events have had people using tape, markers and sticky notes "to implement . . . algorithmic explorations of group thought." A visiting critic at Yale University's School of Art, Maurer also teaches "interaction design" at the Gerrit Reitveld Academy in Amsterdam.
Lectures, 7 p.m. Tuesdays in March. $85 four-part series; $24 each. Walker Cinema, Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Av., Mpls. 612-375-7600 or walkerart.org/tickets
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