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Letter from the President

In the 2005-2006 fiscal year, the Walker Art Center celebrated its first full year in its expanded facility, with a wide array of programs in the visual, performing, and media arts. With each of the artistic disciplines housed under one roof, along with new public lounges and learning spaces, the Walker now serves as a singular environment for bringing diverse audiences together to experience the most influential art, artists, and ideas of our time. As president of the board, it gives me great pleasure to review and share the extraordinary programmatic highlights from the past year, and to thank our local, national, and international contributors for the outstanding financial support that made this remarkable year possible.

To highlight the new galleries, the Walker's exhibition schedule featured both emerging and established artists, a diversity of media, and a broad representation of cultures. In July 2005, the Walker opened its first special exhibition in the new Target Gallery entitled Chuck Close: Self-Portraits 1967-2005. Co-organized by the Walker and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition focused exclusively on Close's self-portraits in painting, drawing, photography, collage, and printmaking, and provided a fascinating glimpse of an artist's self-examination through time. Following its presentations in Minneapolis and San Francisco, the exhibition toured to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo, New York. The financial services firm UBS generously sponsored the national tour, with additional support provided by Margaret and Angus Wurtele and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In October, the Walker-organized exhibition House of Oracles: A Huang Yong Ping Retrospective opened as the first major survey of this Chinese artist's career. The show presented his provocative installations that challenged viewers to reconsider everything from the idea of art to national identity to events in recent history. After its premiere in Minneapolis, House of Oracles toured to Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. For supporting this important exhibition, we are grateful to Altria Group, Inc.; étant donnés: The French American Fund for Contemporary Art; the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

ANDY WARHOL/SUPERNOVA: Stars, Deaths, and Disasters, 1962-1964 opened in November and presented more than 20 examples of the artist's early silkscreen paintings, juxtaposing images of Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor, and Elvis Presley with car crashes and other "disasters." Organized by the Walker, the exhibition traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Northern Trust generously sponsored the national tour, with additional support provided by Karen and Ken Heithoff, Miriam and Erwin Kelen, Joan and John Nolan, and Margot Siegel.

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