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Walker Art Center to unveil new entrance, hours

A new main entrance and lobby. An outdoor plaza. Tweaked hours. The Walker Art Center announced Tuesday the unveiling of the first phase of its campus renovation. Designed by HGA architects John Cook and Joan Soranno, the new entrance on Vineland Place will face the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

Here are the key dates:

Nov. 11: The new outdoor plaza, main entrance and lobby will be open to the public.

Dec. 1 to Dec. 4: The Walker is hosting an open house. It's free to get in, and there are special events.

Early December: The center's new restaurant, Esker Grove, will open.

Also, starting Nov. 11, the Walker will tweak its gallery hours. Target Free Thursday Night will begin and end an hour earlier -- running from 4 to 8 p.m. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the galleries will be open until 6 p.m., rather than 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, the sculpture garden's expansion is ongoing and set to be completed in June 2017. That renovation includes the addition of 16 new artworks.

The letters spelling "Walker" went up last week. Photo by Christy DeSmith.


Rendering by HGA architects, courtesy of the Walker Art Center.

Two Prince albums due soon: A hits package and deluxe 'Purple Rain' set

Prince’s estate opened Paisley Park this month as a museum before they received the permanent green light from the Chanhassen City Council. Prince’s estate staged a nearly five-hour Official Tribute Concert this month before the show was properly rehearsed.

Now comes news that Warner Bros. Records, in conjunction with Prince’s own NPG Records, will issue a new greatest-hits collection in time for the holidays and a deluxe “Purple Rain” package in early 2017. The latter release was in the works before Prince’s death on April 21.

“Prince 4ever,” due Nov. 22, will contain 40 songs, including a previously unreleased selection “Moonbeam Levels,” originally recorded in 1982 for the “1999” album sessions. The collection includes “Soft and Wet,” “1999,” “When Doves Cry,” “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Diamonds and Pearls” as well as such lesser known numbers as “Paisley Park” and “Glam Slam.”

The package will include a 12-page booklet featuring never-seen photos by fashion photographer and video director Herb Ritts, who did sessions with Prince in the early 1990s.

This will be Prince’s fourth hits package. The most complete one is 1993’s three-disc “The Hits/The B-Sides,” which includes 56 tunes. 

The deluxe “Purple Rain” package will include the original album remastered and a second album of previously unreleased material. Prince reportedly approved the remastering before his death.

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