As the Walker’s name signals, we’re a center: a hub that brings together various pursuits related to contemporary art, from presenting the visual, performing, and media arts of our time to publishing the latest scholarly research; collecting art objects and commissioning new works to hosting artist residencies and convening public discussions about art and ideas. Given these activities—and more importantly, our mission to investigate the questions that shape us and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities—I’m excited to introduce our new website, an online hub for ideas about contemporary art and culture, both inside the Walker and beyond.
The intent of the new site is to make visible our role as a generative producer and purveyor of content and broadcast our voice in the landscape of contemporary culture. Resembling an online art magazine in its design and format, this new site provides a multifaceted publishing platform—unique among museums worldwide. Here you will find news and feature content about contemporary art as well as the Walker’s own programs and collections. As a pioneer in developing new platforms for scholarship, publishing, arts journalism, and creative exchange with our audiences, we believe we can play an important role in offering alternative media infrastructures as arts coverage in the mainstream media outlets everywhere have been dramatically reduced in recent years. Our cross-disciplinary focus as an institution also positions us well to survey larger trends in contemporary visual arts, performing arts, design, and media culture.
Built by the Walker’s talented new media staff, in collaboration with the design department, the new home page is overseen by our new web editor, award-winning journalist Paul Schmelzer, who authors original stories and showcases related news stories, interviews, and essays written by Walker staff and others right here and across the globe. Understanding that we exist as part of a diverse media ecosystem, we’ve instituted a feature called “Art News from Elsewhere,” which provides a curated list of annotated links to relevant stories about contemporary art that provide greater context for the work we host and produce. Launched in early 2005, the Walker’s robust suite of blogs has prominence on the new site, as will content about Minnesota’s cultural scene created by its affiliated website, mnartists.org. Finally, new sections—“Artspeaks” and “From the Archives”—will feature, respectively, the voices of artists working today, often in video form, and glimpses back at Walker projects of the past, giving them new relevance today. These features, which offer viewers a feel for the types of content modules we’ll be developing as we grow the new site, are its predominant focus, providing audiences with a mix of authored and aggregated content.
The new home page forecasts a change across our entire web platform as well. In the coming weeks and months, visitors will see the redesign of our mobile presence, Collections site (including the forthcoming Living Collections Catalogue), the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden page, our pioneering blogs, and mnartists.org, among others.
The redesigned walkerart.org is a new creative platform for the Walker as an institution and the audiences we serve. Our questions, our passions, and our histories are present here, and they are informed by your curiosity, perspective, and knowledge. We invite your active participation, dialogue, and candid critique.
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