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Established in 2001, the Walker Art Center’s Collectors’ Council provides members with opportunities to gain exposure to the “art of our time” through access to curators, artists, and specialists with knowledge of the issues and practices of contemporary art and design. Intended to educate and provide social and intellectual exchange with the Walker’s visual arts and design staff, the Council serves as a forum for dialogue and learning as participants advance their own interest and enthusiasm for contemporary culture.


The Council is comprised of a chair or co-chairs and Sponsor, Founder, and Patrons’ Circle level members. Each Council member must be a current Sponsor ($500), Founder ($1,000), or Patrons’ Circle member ($2,500). Council members at the Sponsor or Founder levels should be under the age of 40. Members at the Patrons’ Circle level will have access to all Council events, and members at the Sponsor or Founder levels will have access to all events with the exception of select private collections and travel opportunities.

Walker Staff Liaisons

  • Vincenzo de Bellis, Curator of Visual Arts
  • Kerstin Beyer, Director of the Annual Fund

Collectors’ Council Co-chairs

  • Dan Avchen, HGA
  • Jeremy Collatz, U+B Architecture & Design, Inc.

Collectors’ Council Meetings

The Council meets six to ten times per fiscal year. Events are centered around experiences and educational opportunities that encompass distinct elements, including visiting speakers from the art and design sectors, the pragmatics of collecting (i.e., gallery, private, museum, and corporate collections), Walker exhibitions in-depth, and tours of local artists studios and arts organizations. In addition, Patrons’ Circle Council members have the opportunity to visit one private collection per season and attend the annual trip to Miami with VIP access to Art Basel Miami Beach, America’s preeminent contemporary art fair.

Recent Council Events

  • Walk-through of Painter Painter with exhibition curators Eric Crosby and Bartholomew Ryan and exhibition artists Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Jay Heikes
  • Visit to Soo Visual Arts Center featuring artists Chris Larson, Jesse Draxler, Haley Prochnow, and Leslie Kelman
  • Seminar on the history of Walker Art Center design presented by Design Director Emmet Byrne and Curator of Design Andrew Blauvelt
  • Private tour of artist David Rathman’s studio

Responsibilities and Duties of Participants

  1. Actively engage in Council events throughout the year.
  2. Chair(s) work with staff liaisons to request external meeting spaces and seek new members to ensure that the Council grows at a reasonable and sustainable pace. Chair(s) also represent the views of Council members where possible, and consult with curators and development staff on possible Council events.
  3. Council programs are driven by the Walker’s Visual Arts and Design liaisons and associated curatorial teams with ongoing feedback from Chair(s) and Council members pertaining to special interests and opportunities.
  4. Encourage the participation of fellow Council members, Walker Trustees, and other potential members in Council meetings.
  5. Review and update the Council Charter periodically as conditions dictate.


The Collectors’ Council may engage the participation of any Council member to participate or assist in Council events and collecting annual dues.
For more information about the Collectors’ Council, please contact Kerstin Beyer at or 612-375-7562.


The Walker Art Center Collectors' Council 2016-17 season is sponsored by

  • Abbot Downing
  • NetJets