It was a lovely May evening last Monday and perfect weather for a walk in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and into the Walker’s galleries with 5th and 6th graders, their parents, siblings, and teachers from Horace Mann School in Saint Paul. We gathered to hear students read from their best work after participating in the Walker’s Writing through Art Program. For the fourth year in a row, Horace Mann students have come to the Walker four times during the school year, each time touring a new gallery or the Garden, and each time doing a different type of writing as part of their tour.
Some students read poems inspired by works of art, others shared original myths or stories in which paintings or sculptures came to life, and still others became junior critics as they expressed their own points of view and opinions about art and architecture.
Here’s a sampling:
- Kenneth Noland, Cantabile, 1961, T.B. Walker Fund
A student’s poem inspired by Kenneth Noland’s painting Cantabile….
Pointing, Shooting, Colliding
Aim for the middle
- Thomas Hirschhorn, Necklace CNN, 2002, T.B. Walker Acquisition Fund
One student wrote a myth about Fillipo, from the clan of Weather giants who was hired by CNN to “stick their heads above the clouds and predict the weather. They are hardly ever wrong.” He received a giant CNN necklace as a gift for his services which was given to the Walker after his death.
- Deborah Butterfield, Woodrow, 1988, Gift of Harriet and Edson W. Spencer
Another student’s favorite was Woodrow, by Deborah Butterfield.
“As I studied the horse, it came to life. I saw tall mountains, with peaks sprinkled with snow with a light blue sky in the background, as the horse frolicked in the hills of the valley.”
In a critical essay about architecture and art, a student took the stance that the Walker Art Center building is art because of how it was designed. “The exterior of the building is made out of squares of hard, metal mesh…. Each piece has dents and bumps in it but the edges still fit.”
- Roy Lichtenstein, Artist’s Studio No. 1 ( Look Mickey), 1973, Gift of Judy and Kenneth Dayton and the T.B. Walker Foundation
And Lichtenstein’s studio painting led to an interesting story that began,
“One sunny Thanksgiving afternoon, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse traveled to the Arctic….”