It begins with words in Dakota and English: “Taku wanji unkoniciyakapi uncinpi. We want to tell you something.” And “Pidaunyayapi. We accept your offerings with thanks.” Honoring commitments made after the “Scaffold” controversy of spring 2017, the Walker on Tuesday issued a Call to Artists for a new public artwork for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or a location on the Walker campus.
The call continues, “Are you a knowledge keeper, a contemporary artist, or a traditional artist interested in making public art?” Artists with in-depth knowledge and understanding of Dakota culture are encouraged to apply.
The Walker is working in tandem with an Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee, a group of Native curators, knowledge keepers, artists and arts professionals, including individuals of Dakota descent and enrollment. Proposals will be accepted until April 15, 2019. The Walker and the committee will review the proposals and make their selections. Three semifinalists will be notified June 17, and the selected artist will be announced Sept. 16. The goal for installation and unveiling: Fall 2020.
Four free information sessions and workshops will be held: on Jan. 18 (today) at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo; Jan. 19 at Sisseton Wahpeton College in South Dakota; Jan. 26 at Mystic Lake Center in Prior Lake; and Feb. 20 at the Walker.
The “Scaffold” controversy erupted just before the renovated Sculpture Garden was set to reopen. One of the garden’s new sculptures, American artist Sam Durant’s two-story structure was meant as an artistic statement about capital punishment. Built on former Dakota land, it represented seven gallows used in U.S. state-sanctioned executions, including one in Mankato in 1862 where 38 Dakota men were hanged. It was, in short, colossally offensive and devastating to Dakota people. After days of protests and meetings, “Scaffold” was torn down in a public ceremony.
The Walker’s incoming executive director, Mary Ceruti, said in a statement, “This project builds on the commitments the Walker has made to the Native community and I am excited to see the proposals and further the conversation.”
Classical music’s rising stars to perform at Orchestra Hall
Maybe you’ll see (and hear) the next James Ehnes, Sarah Kwak, Jonathan Cohen or Pamela Arnstein. The Grammy-winning violinist, former Minnesota Orchestra first associate concertmaster, former SPCO guest musician and current Minnesota Orchestra violinist are all past winners of the annual Young Artist Competition sponsored by Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra (formerly WAMSO).
Now in its 60th year, the national competition gives musicians 25 and under valuable experience with a professional-grade audition process, with feedback from judges including Minnesota Orchestra musicians. On Sunday afternoon, the six finalists will perform at Orchestra Hall for judges including Osmo Vänskä. First prize is a solo performance opportunity with the Minnesota Orchestra and a $7,500 cash award. A grand prize may be awarded at Vänskä’s discretion: the solo performance will be at a subscription series concert performance, with an additional $1,000.
A champagne reception will be held in the lobby after 1 p.m. Free, but please make a reservation.
Tonight (Friday, Jan. 18) at the Turf Club: Julian Lage Trio. We first saw guitarist Julian Lage as a member of superstar vibraphonist Gary Burton’s quartet in 2013, and later in duo with Nels Cline. Since then, Lage has emerged as one of our most innovative and limitless guitarists, at home in jazz, folk, classical, rock and country music and a brilliant improviser. Now 30, he’s a former prodigy; if you can find an Oscar-nominated documentary called “Jules at Eight,” that’s Lage. With Scott Colley on bass, Kenny Wollesen on drums. 8 p.m. FMI and tickets ($17 advance, $20 door).
Starts Saturday at the St. Paul JCC and Sabes JCC: Twin Cities Jewish Humor Festival. This year’s line-up includes NPR’s “Ask Me Another” host Ophira Eisenberg; Emmy and Peabody winner Mike Reiss, longtime writer for “The Simpsons” (his topic: “The Simpsons and Other Jewish Families”); internationally known comic Scott Blakeman; stand-up comedian Julie Goldman; and a Comic Superhero Self-Portrait event for kids. The festival is shared among the two JCCs, with events at each. FMI including schedule and tickets. Ends Jan. 27.
Saturday at the Science Museum of Minnesota: Science Fusion: Latinx Americans in Science. Get kids jazzed about science. Bring them to the Science Museum to meet science and education professionals from the Twin Cities’ Latino and Hispanic communities in a science-fair-like setting that allows for one-on-one interaction. Companies and organizations represented will include Donaldson Company, Ecolab, General Mills, the University of Minnesota and the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center. Plus hands-on activities and entertainment by Salsa del Soul and Grupa De Danzas Colombianas en Minnesota. Science Fusion continues with Native Americans in Science (Jan. 26) and Asian-Americans in Science (Feb. 2). We’re sorry we didn’t include this in time for last Saturday’s African-Americans in Science (Jan. 12). Noon-4 p.m. Kids are free with paid adult admission; buy one full-priced adult ticket, get four kids in. FMI.
Sunday at the Minnesota Museum of American Art: Family Day: Onward! Interactive storytelling with the St. Paul Public Library’s Story Time (English and Spanish), activities (make clay figures, make candles to hold your wisdom and wishes, weave a web), and guided tours will add up to a busy afternoon of creative and artist-led experiences. 1-4 p.m. Free. Here’s the schedule.
Monday at the Ordway: The 2019 Governor’s Council MLK Day Celebration. Hosted by Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, this year’s event will have a Women of Color in STEM theme. Dr. Reatha Clark King and NASA “Hidden Figure” Katherine Coleman Johnson will be honored and awarded; Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to travel in space, and 3M CEO Mike Roman will speak. Musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra will perform with the MacPhail Northside Youth Orchestra Bucket Drummers. There will be a live DJ and a youth rally. Free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so plan to arrive early. FMI here and here.