“That’s Why They Call Me ‘Shine’” (2014)

Val Escher

Val escher walker2015

One privilege of not being a parent is having the ability to feign ignorance and defy the new norm of guarding children from experiences deemed inappropriate for their age. This photo of my 10-year-old nephew at the exhibit “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art” exposes my crime: I allow children to freely roam the galleries of the Walker.

As a result, my two nephews are now sophisticated scholars of art and music, even at a tender age. They are both competent creators, performers, and critics; and are completely comfortable tackling heavy artistic concepts that reach far beyond the scope of many adults. I know I’ve only played a small role in shaping their open minds. But, in their later years, I do hope they think back to the abundant artistic influence graced upon them by our many voyages to the Walker Art Center.

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