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Walker Art Center Gets Makeover

The a piece by Christian Marclay that was created from construction sound recorded at the Walker over the last 4 years.

In a similar space, equipped with monitors as well as headphones, visitors can watch short films from the museum's collection. There's also a theater devoted solely to cinema, a smaller space for video installations, and 4 video viewing stations in the museum's lobby where people can sit on floor cushions and watch short films like The Critical Path.

The 14-minute animated documentary about architect, inventor and visionary Buckminster Fuller was created by Benita Raphan, who came from New York to celebrate the Walker’s reopening. "It couldn't be more exciting to me to be represented here,” Ms. Raphan told VOA. “The Walker has a great reputation in terms of film and video, and also has a great reputation for being a younger, hipper, edgier museum. That's a very nice thing to be a part of."

But being hip and edgy doesn't necessarily equate with being popular. So in addition to making more of the Walker's vast art collection physically accessible to the public, director Kathy Halbreich told VOA she wanted to make the presentation of the art more user-friendly.

"We didn't want to change what we showed, which is often provocative,” she said. “We wanted to create this inviting place where you would not be intimidated by the institutional structure and consequently, would perhaps feel more open-minded. Because I think people are open minded when they are comfortable."

The new Walker Art Center provides comfortable spaces to showcase theater, video and performance art, as well as lounges, a restaurant and a café, where museumgoers can talk about what they've seen. Director Kathy Halbreich said she hopes the building and the art it displays will foster many conversations in the years to come.