Free First Saturday: Material Messengers
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Free First Saturday: Material Messengers

Child and adult seated at a table making art
Making art at Free First Saturday, February 2022. Photo: Emmet Kowler for Walker Art Center.

What stories might a bundle of wool or a stack of stones tell you about the world? Explore materials and memories of an ancient past through art-making with teaching artist Sophie Durbin and other activities inspired by the exhibition Jannis Kounellis in Six Acts. Free gallery admission 10 am–5 pm; activities 10 am–3 pm.

Free gallery admission tickets are available on-site on the event day from the Main Lobby desk; quantities are limited.

Activities are subject to change or cancellation. Please check back for updates, details, and COVID-19 guidelines as the program approaches.

Art-making Activity: Materiality Mini Sculptures, 10 am–3 pm
Join teaching artist Sophie Durbin to create a small, abstract sculpture using materials such as rock, canvas, metal, and wood—all found in the artwork of Jannis Kounellis. Get creative selecting and binding together scraps while considering the meaning behind each material. Sculptures will be small and portable so that participants can take them home and show them off.

Art-making Activity: Typographic Drawings, 10 am–3 pm
Artist Jannis Kounellis was interested in language and typography throughout his career. He often created artworks inspired by numbers and letters seen on street signs and buildings. Create your own typographic drawing using readymade stencils or by copying letters and fonts created by the Walker’s Design Studio.

Visit the Walker Art Center Library, 10 am–3 pm
The Walker’s library is open! Browse our art book “petting zoo” and meet artfully designed books. The library entrance is through the Art Lab.

Watch a Short Film, 10 am–3 pm
Stop by the Bentson Mediatheque to watch a short film, which will loop between 10 am–3 pm. Capacity is limited to 10 people at a time. This is a relaxed screening appropriate for all ages.

Grands Canons by Alain Biet
In this stop-motion animation, detailed watercolor paintings of familiar objects accumulate and combine to symphonic and dizzying effect. 2018, nonverbal with captions, 10 min.

Sophie Durbin is an artist, researcher, and curator. From 2018–2022, Durbin directed programming at Pancake House, a multipurpose art space located in South Minneapolis. Much of her recent work has considered the relationship between early and contemporary art. Recent projects include Fragment Performances 300 – 1000, an evening-length series of work based on medieval fragments, which will be reprised at the International Congress on Medieval Studies. She has also led numerous facilitated slow looking sessions focused on ancient objects. Her writing projects include an essay for an upcoming publication by the Institute for Linear Research and a chapter on Eliel Saarinen’s Christ Church Lutheran in Midwest Architecture Journeys. She is a MA candidate in contemporary art and archaeology at the University of the Highlands and Islands-Orkney College.

For visitors who need to plan accessible transportation to the Walker, please email or call 612-375-7564 to inquire about reserving timed admission.

The film will be captioned. To request accommodations for this program, or for more information about accessibility, visit our Access page, call 612-375-7564, or email

For more information about accessibility at the Walker, visit our Access page.

Free First Saturday is sponsored by

  • Ameriprise Financial