In 1879, a lumber baron named Thomas Barlow Walker built an extra room onto his house. He mounted his 20 favorite paintings on the room's walls and opened it to the public. This private collection transformed into a public gallery with the founding of Walker Art Center in 1927. Over the following decades, the center's staff amassed a collection focused on modern art, gathering works from Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, and Alberto Giacometti. Today, this permanent collection has expanded to encompass more than 11,000 modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures, and photographs, more than 800 film pieces, and more than 1,200 artists' books.
In the whimsical multistory geometric helix of the Barnes building, seven cube-shaped galleries radiate from a central core on terrazzo floors and under lofted ceilings. Docents lead group tours through the galleries to see rotating exhibitions or play hide-and-seek with Jackson Pollock. Current exhibits have explored the contemporary still photography of Cindy Sherman, American avant-garde film from 1960 to 1973, and prints, paintings, and sculptures produced after 1989. Inside the museum's social spaces, docents also host artist talks, film screenings, and open houses.
Designed as a contemporary twist on old European opera houses, the center's McGuire Theater draws visitors into its intimate space for live dance, theater, and music performances as well as performance art. Museum exhibits and events also spill outside to a central square and the four quadrants, bordered by granite and evergreen hedges, of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. As visitors walk across its lawns, they can glimpse iconic modern sculptures, cross a 375-foot steel-and-wood footbridge, or watch staff teach plants to paint in the Cowles Conservatory.
Most students in introductory stained-glass-making classes are in search of a new hobby or a fun few hours, but not Connie Beckers. In 1995, she took such a course and soon built a career around the art of stained glass and kiln-working. Now, through The Goddess of Glass, she teaches others her craft during classes that cover the creation of jewelry, coasters, plates, and transparent overalls. She?s also been known to flex her instructional muscle as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Cramped Quarters, where she taught the show?s host and contractor how to make stained-glass tiles for a kitchen in the middle of remodeling.
The Goddess of Glass also sells artwork and gifts out of a separate retail shop. Patrons can commission a custom piece, such as a stained-glass window, or peruse a collection of pieces by more than 80 local artisans. The shop?s staff can also advise clients who need custom framing, helping them to pick the proper matting and frame so that their Richard Nixon rookie cards really pop.
Seasoned artist Malcom Potek calls upon more than two decades of glass-manipulating experience while crafting intricate, multicolored tiles and custom sconces that suit the unique architecture of their intended edifices. Within his shop and gallery, a glossy collection of already made glass portraits, beads, and tiles entices eyes to ogle one-of-a-kind designs instead of Betty Boop?shaped clouds. Visitors inspired by Potek's work can learn the tricks of the trade during a variety of glass-blowing classes that set participants on the path to glass-blowing certification.
Specializing in custom framing of fine art, mirrors, memorable keepsakes, and artistically positioned banana peels, Nielsen Framing adds an aesthetically pleasing pizzazz to valuables. Experienced craftsmen draw on a wide selection of finely wrought frames to lasso, break in, saddle, and preserve striking paintings and grandma-impressing graduation certificates. Prices vary according to materials and size, but customers can opt for offerings such as a 8”x10” plain black frame with glass and 2” matting ($147), or an 11”x14” olive-veneer black frame with glass and 2” matting ($327). Best of all, this deal makes for a thoughtful Mother’s Day present by ensuring handsome housing for noteworthy digital daguerrotypes or impressive report cards.
Since 1995, the dexterous framers at Hang It Inc. have been embellishing artwork and other displayables with more than 1,000 first-rate frame varieties culled from around the world. Enclose a photograph or a napkin from a particularly delicious barbecue dinner with a 16”x20" black wood frame ($64), equipped with glass and a mount. Drab dorm rooms are illuminated with a poster encased in a 24”x36" black metal frame ($69), and gold, silver, and ornate borders enable customized constructions. Other combinations may be seen here. Hang It’s unique plasma-TV-framing service adorns wall-hung television sets with a quality picture frame and liner, transforming T.J. Hooker reruns into art. After shopping, customers can peruse the studio's art gallery, Gallery 122, which features a variety of mediums from local artists.
Founded in the mid '90s by a group of textile artists and patrons, the Textile Center's goal is to honor, foster, and support fiber artists and increase the tradition of textile art's visibility and accessibility. The center is home to four fiber art galleries, a library, and a professionally equipped dye lab. Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, in addition to its vast array of supplies, the center sells local and international artists' works of art in its shop such as accessories, home d?cor, and seasonal gifts . These include wearable pieces for patrons, such as embroidered pendants, and wearable pieces for tables, such as coasters, runners, and woven place mats. Curious newbies and seasoned artists alike can enroll in classes, which range in focus from basic dyeing to crocheting to sustainable fashion design.