Sustainable Recreation

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is set to reopen with a series of celebratory events and activities on 3 June. For its reopening, 18 new artworks will be installed across the garden and Walker Campus. Supported by a partnership between the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) and Walker Art Center, the Sculpture Garden is an iconic and remarkable feature of the Minneapolis park system, uniting two of Minnesota’s most cherished resources – its parks and its cultural life – and home to the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

First created through the vision of late Walker director Martin Friedman nearly 30 years ago, the Sculpture Garden was among the first major public/private urban sculpture parks of its kind in the U.S. and has served as a model for parks nationwide. The collaboration between Friedman and then Park Board Superintendent David Fisher produced a striking artistic destination. After nearly three decades, its infrastructure needed to be reconstructed in a sustainable manner.

Popular artworks will return along with the addition of 18 new pieces by artists from Minnesota and around the world. In total, there will be 60 artworks installed across 19-acres. Six works have been commissioned by artists Nairy Baghramian, Frank Big Bear, Theaster Gates, Mark Manders, Philippe Parreno, and Aaron Spangler. These will feature alongside new contributions by Tony Cragg, Sam Durant, Katharina Fritsch, Gary Hume, Robert Indiana, Kcho, Liz Larner, Sol LeWitt, Matthew Monahan, Eva Rothschild, Kiki Smith and Monika Sosnowska.

The renovation project also allowed the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to build on the great architecture and landscape designs of Edward Larrabee Barnes, Peter Rothschild, Michael Van Valkenburgh,and Barbara Stauffacher Solomon with the contemporary visions of Tom Oslund and Julie Snow. Designs for the Sculpture Garden and Walker take advantage of the latest sustainable technologies. Within the Sculpture Garden, more than 300 new trees have been planted, and a new water reuse system will irrigate the Sculpture Garden site. The Sculpture Garden’s north end will also feature a meadow with native plants, and the Walker’s main entrance now features a green roof.

For the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Grand Reopening, a ceremonial moment will take place at 12 noon, along with all-day activities for all ages, including art-making activities, special performances and tours in the Sculpture Garden. The day will also include an outdoor performance of Merce Cunningham’s Field Dances with dancers from the local community, in conjunction with the landmark exhibition Merce Cunningham: Common Time at the Walker Center.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, reopening, 3 June, 726 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403.

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1. Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.