Free First Saturday: Plant Teachers
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Free First Saturday: Plant Teachers

Two children holding flags they made
Art-Making in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 2021. Photo: Carina Lofgren for Walker Art Center.

Resilience, ingenuity, interconnectedness—what else might we learn by paying closer attention to plants? Invite the aspiring green thumbs in your life and join us for Free First Saturday in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden as we celebrate our plant teachers.

At August Free First Saturday, Brooklyn-based artist Tamar Ettun (she/they) will present Lilit the Empathic Demon. The performance is inspired by Lilit, an aerial spirit demon with origins in Sumerian, Akkadian, and Judaic mythology. Families are invited to create a vessel to trap the demon that knows them best—perhaps the “demon of overthinking”—and then participate in a playful ceremony to summon and befriend their demon. This project was organized in collaboration with Dreamsong, which will also host a conversation between the artist and writer Elisabeth Workman on August 4 at 5:30 pm.

Free First Saturday also features free gallery admission on the first Saturday of every month. Gallery admission tickets are available on-site on the event day from the Main Lobby desk; quantities are limited. Free admission 10 am–5 pm; activities 10 am–3 pm.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a project of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.

This event will be photographed. By attending, you consent to appear in this documentation and its future use by the Walker.

Art-Making Activity: Plant Pressings, 10 am–3 pm
Press patterns into clay using plant material to create your own decorative wall hanging for display somewhere special.

Art-Making Activity: How to Trap a Demon, 10 am–3 pm
Demons have a bad reputation, but maybe we’re just not very good at getting to know them. Do you have a demon that creeps into your thoughts? Maybe the “demon of overthinking” or “the demon of not trusting your gut”? Work with visiting artist Tamar Ettun to design a vessel for holding the demon you know best!

Performance: Lilit the Empathic Demon, 11 am and 1 pm
After designing your trap, Lilit the Empathic Demon will come from the dark side of the moon to lead you in locating your feelings using ancient Babylonian techniques. This collective and playful demon summoning session will conclude with a somatic movement meditation, designed to help you befriend your shadows.

Performance: Catharus, 11:30 am and 1:30 pm
What songs would you sing to thank and honor the plants you love most? Listen as vocal ensemble Catharus offers reimagined hymns praising what is sacred in nature.

Family Tour, 11:30 am
Tour for General Audiences, 1 pm
Join a Walker educator for a family-friendly guided tour of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at 11:30 am (40 min.), or take a guided tour for general audiences at 1 pm (60 min.). To participate, meet outside the Walker’s Main Entrance five minutes before the tour start time. Tours explore a selection of artworks and include interactive discussion.

Tamar Ettun (b. Jerusalem, 1982) uses textiles, drawings, sculpture, video, and performance to explore somatic empathy, trauma-healing modalities, and ritual. Her recent work centers on Lilit, an aerial spirit demon with origins in Sumerian, Akkadian, and Judaic mythology. During the 2nd through 7th centuries, artist-healers created spells, drawings, and talismanic objects to trap demons like Lilit, who was characterized as a dangerously sexual female entity, and appeared frequently on incantation bowls used in protective rituals. In this project, Ettun revives ancient traditions through a contemporary feminist lens, revamping Lilit’s image as an Empathic Demon. Ettun received an MFA from Yale University in 2010, where she was awarded the Alice English Kimball Fellowship, and teaches at Columbia University School of Arts and Parsons School of Design. Forthcoming presentations of Lilit in collaboration with Dreamsong include NADA House in Governor’s Island, NY (Sept 1–Oct 1, 2023) and the Armory Show, as part of Armory Off-Site (Sept 7–10, 2023). Text SUMMON to 833-575-1049 to join Lilit’s text group and receive occasional messages from the Empathic Demon.

Catharus is a vocal ensemble led by Kenan Serenbetz that explores the American hymn tradition. The group sings original hymns that contemplate and celebrate the divine as it courses through the natural world. By singing about specific beings and cycles in our Midwestern ecosystems, Catharus creates a symbolic language of bioregional imagery to articulate a theology that centers our interdependence with all beings who share this land. The ensemble creates rich harmonies rooted in centuries of sacred vocal music, from medieval polyphony to shape-note hymnody. The word Catharus comes from a genus of thrushes, a type of songbird known for their complex and ethereal songs.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is wheelchair accessible. Some activities may take place on grass and gravel surfaces.

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

To request accommodations for this program or for more information about accessibility, call 612-375-7564 or email

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

Free First Saturday is sponsored by

  • Logo: Ameriprise Financial

Family Programs are supported by the Manitou Fund, thanks to Rosemary and Kevin McNeely.

  • Logo: Manitou Fund