The newly renovated outdoor exhibit features new pieces alongside old favorites

Image by Gene Pittman, courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

By Aubrey Schield

The wait is over. Well, almost over. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Walker Art Center have been partially or entirely closed in some capacity for the past two years, and renovations are finally complete, just in time for a grand reopening celebration this Saturday. As a lifelong Twin Citian, the sculpture garden has served as a symbol for Minneapolis—especially with its “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture. (I remember craning my neck as a kid trying to see the giant, bright red cherry from the car window as my family traveled east on I-94.)

In cooperation with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, the sculpture garden underwent massive construction to create a 19-acre finished product that is both aesthetically and environmentally pleasing—a water reuse system was set up to make the attraction more eco-friendly. In addition to a landscaping facelift, the garden received 18 new pieces of artwork, including Katharina Fritsch’s royal blue statue of a rooster, “Hahn/Cock”.

Some of the works from the garden’s past life were moved to other areas throughout the city, including Gold Medal Park, Weisman Art Museum and Minneapolis Institute of Art. I am pleased to share, however, that among the pieces still on display in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen-designed “Spoonbridge and Cherry”. Named one of the best contemporary art museums in the country, the Walker Art Center also got in on the renovation and is unveiling new landscaping and a new, more welcoming entrance for visitors.

If you go…

Head to the Walker Art Center, located just outside of downtown Minneapolis, on Saturday morning for the grand reopening. In addition to unparalleled sight-seeing, the celebration will feature hands-on activities. Create your own works of art and enjoy delicious food truck fare during the free event, which is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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