New app offers multimedia guide to Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

  • Article by: KATIE HUMPHREY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 17, 2013 - 2:17 PM
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Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

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Stroll through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with an art-smart phone as your guide.

A new app developed by the Walker Art Center uses GPS to map and share stories of the scenic grounds with those who wander through, smartphones in hand.

Standing in front of Spoonbridge and Cherry? Listen to commentary by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen or the “Community Voices” of everyday folks reacting to the artwork.

Not sure what you’re looking at? Maybe even lost? Check the map for your GPS location.

Every sculpture in the garden has its own multimedia presentation, including a mix of video, audio clips, photos and text.

“It’s a very quick way to find out a little bit more about what you’re looking at,” said Nate Solas, senior new media developer and head technologist at Walker.

The free web-based app, developed for the garden’s 25th anniversary this summer, can be downloaded at the Sculpture Garden website, www.walkerart.org/garden. It works on all types of smartphones, and the content — minus the GPS feature — also can be viewed via computer at the Sculpture Garden website.

Other Minnesota museums also have been experimenting with apps. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has a magazine-like iPad app, updated quarterly, with information about its collection and exhibits. The Minnesota Association of Museums recently launched an app that guides users to museums around the state.

Solas said he hopes the Sculpture Garden app sparks discussion among visitors and brings them back for more.

“You can’t look at the garden the same way after you discover some of these insights into the artwork,” he said. □

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