MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- The Walker Art Center opens its expanded facility and the Twin Cities’ newest cultural icon on Sunday, April 17, 2005. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, the new Walker significantly enhances the Walker’s ability to commission and present today’s most innovative visual, performing, and media artists from around the globe. Giving physical form to a unique multidisciplinary model and doubling the Walker’s size, the expansion includes gallery space; the region’s largest library of contemporary art; new interactive educational lounges; an intimate 385-seat theater; a refurbished Cinema; street-level and roof-top terraces and plazas; lounges for both small and large groups to gather; 20.21, a fine-dining restaurant, and Gallery 8 Café, operated by internationally acclaimed chef Wolfgang Puck; and underground parking. In addition, a new skyspace by James Turrell, sited on greenspace that will become a new four-acre park in the project’s second phase, complements the Walker’s 11-acre Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
Opening-weekend festivities feature an exclusive Members’ Preview Party from 8 pm–1 am, Saturday, April 16, and a daylong Grand-opening Celebration, open to the public, from 9 am–9 pm Sunday, April 17. On Saturday, Walker members will be among the first to see seven new exhibitions showcasing the collection; the first music and dance performances in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater; and screenings in the Walker Cinema. In addition, building tours will take place and visitors will enjoy food and drink by Wolfgang Puck. Sunday’s Grand-opening features art-making in the new Art Lab; performances beginning with a solo piano concert by Philip Glass and concluding with the mesmerizing ensemble Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali from Pakistan; and ongoing screenings highlighting cinema from the past century.