The savory aroma of melted butter and delicately seared cheese permeated the Cargill Lounge during Free First Saturday this month triggering fond childhood memories. Chef Josh Brown of Gather was demonstrating the art of assembling the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. The demonstration was so satisfying that I immediately made plans to make my own batch at home accompanied, of course, by a bowl of homemade tomato soup. What a treat to indulge in something so warm and comforting as the days grow shorter and colder advancing toward the depths of a Minnesota winter. Not to worry, there is always Free First Saturday to look forward to.
The day was all about performance and design. With the Dance Works I: Merce Cunningham/Robert Rauschenberg exhibition in full swing and Graphic Design: Now in Production radiating through the Target and Friedman galleries it was the perfect time to be inspired by the two. Xiong Lor was in the Art Lab heading a costume-making activity called Costume Collage wherein kids constructed their own performance attire out of fabric scraps and paper, an activity inspired by Robert Rauschenberg. It was amusing to spot parents and their kids sporting their new accessories as they moved through each exhibition.
Brittany Shrimpton led a movement activity in Gallery 8 based on Cunningham’s “chance” dances, choosing a word or theme out of a hat to determine the dancers’ next move. Young dancers flailed their arms smoothly and slowly as if floating in outer space or jerked their bodies stiffly as if their limbs were being pricked by cactus spines.
The Walker was bursting with activities. Red Grooms’ Target Discount Store 1970, a vintage film from the collection, was being screened in the cinema accompanied by a scavenger hunt about the film. Kids were learning the basics of typography design in Target Gallery by designing their own typeface and placing their work in a tiny model of the gallery. Merce Cunningham Research Fellow Abi Sebaly was positioned in the Medtronic Gallery to share conservation and cataloguing techniques that were used on the Cunningham Acquisitions costumes and sets. It was a truly delicious and inspired event.