Last winter a record snowfall created the ideal setting for an array of wintery constructions and activities upon the slope of Open Field. During this exceptionally snowy winter we partnered with local artist Sean Connaughty to build a beautiful Bigloo behind the Walker. This year we planned to celebrate the Minnesota winter with a day filled with snow inspired activities, including sled modification, creative snowman construction and Bigloo concerts. While there are a great many things to consider whenever planning outdoor events in Minnesota, snow at the beginning of February is assumed. Not this winter. Minnesota has been blessed or cheated of our winter leaving many event programmers scrambling to find solutions and substitutes.
Our solution to last Saturday’s Snow Field Free First Saturday….cardboard snowmen. Embracing the balmy brown winter we called upon the arts programmer’s secret weapon, cardboard and tape. We employed local artist Andy Ducett, who along side Walker Staff, guided families in the creation of various cardboard constructions. The instructions were to make objects that referenced the wintery sculptures we had hoped to make, but as with most activities, the participants make it their own and thus lead you on unexpected (and often much better) paths. Saturday was no exception. Before long our cardboard snowmen were joined by boats, cars, tall buildings, a couple of shanty town igloos and a rather impressive rocket. Sometimes the best thing to do as a programmer is set the stage and just get out of the way.
Making It lifts the curtain on art-making around the state with posts that go inside the process of making and showing work. You’ll find these visually-oriented little pieces on both the Education and Community Programs’ blog and here, on the mnartists.org blog, and they’ll include a broad-mash up across disciplines, with everything from staff dispatches from Arty Pants and Open Field to rehearsal notes and studio visits, maybe even a few DIY tutorials by and with Minnesota artists.