The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, part of the Walker Art Center campus, is set to reopen after the completion of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Reconstruction Project. Opened nearly 30 years ago, the garden was one of the first such major sculpture parks in the United States, attracting over nine million visitors in that time.
When reopened, visitors will be able to see 18 new art pieces, along with the 42 pieces that were already on display before the renovation. Six new pieces were commissioned specifically for the garden. The commissioned artists include Nairy Baghramian, Frank Big Bear, Theaster Gates, Mark Manders, Philippe Parreno, and Aaron Spangler. Additional works were collected from local and international artists, including Katharine Fritsch, Robert Indiana, Sol LeWitt, and Eva Rothschild. The crowd favorite Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen will also once again be on prominent display.
The design of the 19-acre garden and Walker grounds has been carried out over the years by a number of renowned landscape designers including Edward Larrabee Barnes, Peter Rothschild, Michael Van Valkenburgh, Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, Tom Oslund, and Julie Snow.
The renovations included the reconstruction of the garden’s infrastructure to make the park more sustainable and improve the parks water management. The $10 million project includes a completely new stormwater management system which includes an 80,000-gallon underground cistern. The new system allows for all rain that falls on the site to be captured and reused for irrigation. The garden’s north end features a new native plant meadow and 300 new trees have been planted across the site, all adding to the gardens ecological design. The Walker Art Center also added a green roof over its main entrance and an additional green streetscape.
The reopening will be marked by a number of festivities, including a full day of opening ceremonies on June 3rd. The Walker Art Center will also provide free gallery admission form June 1-June 10 in honor of the gardens reopening.