Letter from the President
The Walker's 2003-2004 fiscal year opened on an extremely high note, as we were awarded a three-year $725,000 grant from the Bush Foundation to fund a "More than a Museum" initiative designed to broaden, deepen, and diversify our audiences' participation in contemporary art. The grant will support projects that have grown out of more than a decade of developing programs to attract teens, low-income families, and communities of color; an expanded global perspective informed by a previous $1 million Bush grant awarded in 1999; and the extraordinary opportunities created by the Walker's expansion. Funded activities will include artist residencies and commissions across disciplines and the development of new public programs and learning spaces. On behalf of the board and staff of the Walker, I extend our deepest gratitude to the Bush Foundation, which has so generously supported our work for nearly 30 years.
       Over the past year, the Visual Arts Department offered Walker audiences an exhibition schedule that balanced a commitment to nurturing emerging artists as well as showcasing established ones, applying new critical lenses to contemporary and historical topics, and encouraging a diversity of media and representation of cultures. In July, the Walker opened The Squared Circle: Boxing in Contemporary Art, which was sponsored by Marshall Field's. Featuring works by 30 international artists in media ranging from painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography to video, film, and sound installation, the exhibition attempted to untie boxing as metaphor, spectacle, and a poetic yet slightly absurd dance of dualities—violence and beauty, triumph and failure, life and death. Marshall Field's Gives also was the sponsor of Pop3 : Oldenburg, Rosenquist, Warhol, which opened in September and surveyed some of the Walker's Pop masterpieces by focusing on these three key artists.
       The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982 opened in October and was made possible by generous support from Karen and Ken Heithoff, La Collección Jumex, Carol and Judson Bemis, Jr., Matthew O. Fitzmaurice, and Harry M. Drake, with promotional assistance provided by MPLS.ST.PAUL Magazine. Cutting a historical swath across a wide range of art practices and movements such as Conceptual Art, Minimalism, and Arte Povera, The Last Picture Show traced the development of conceptual uses of the medium of photography.
       Walk Around Time: Selections from the Permanent Collection remained on view through mid-October. This major installation of the Walker's permanent collection was made possible by Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Best Buy Co., Inc. A smaller selection of drawings and scale models from the Walker's permanent collection, library, and archives titled Things Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art (from the Permanent Collection) was presented in the Andersen Window Gallery, funded by the Andersen Corporation. In November, the Walker opened the final show of the season, Past Things and Present: Jasper Johns since 1983. This exhibition, which explored the more personal iconography of Johns' work that began during the 1980s, was generously supported by Judy and Kenneth Dayton, Martha and Bruce Atwater, Margaret and Angus Wurtele, the Broad Art Foundation, and the Fifth Floor Foundation, with promotional assistance by MPLS.ST.PAUL Magazine.



Photography Credit(s)
Gene Pittman (right)
Cameron Wittig (left)