Monday, May 29, 2017

"Scaffold" Walker Art Center / Minneapolis Park & Rec Board Announcement

Statement from Olga Viso, Walker Art Center Executive Director, and Jayne Miller, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Superintendent: 5/29/2017
Out of respect for the process of mediation and resolution that is yet to unfold,the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announce today the official re-opening for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will be postponed until Saturday, June 10, 2017. Both partners agree that this is the most appropriate course of action to honor the dialogue that is underway between Dakota Elders, the Walker, Minneapolis Park Board, and artist Sam Durant regarding the sculpture Scaffold in the Garden.

A private mediation with a group of Dakota Elders is planned for the morning of Wednesday, May 31, 2017 with leaders from the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, City of Minneapolis, and the artist and his representatives.
In advance of this mediation, Dakota Elders will be meeting with a broader cross-section of the Dakota community on Tuesday evening.
This meeting is being organized by Dakota Elders and will inform the mediation process. Their announcement is available here: [link to All My Relations]
Dakota Elders leading the mediation process have respectfully asked that others who feel allied in this endeavor, but who are not Dakota, or whom may represent other communities across the state and region, to please be patient and respect the process that is currently underway. There is concern from all parties involved in the mediation process that preemptive that pre-emptive actions in advance of these discussions would be counterproductive.

A public statement at 2 pm on Wednesday, May 31 will provide an update on the status of the mediation. 
Olga Viso, Walker Art Center, Executive Director
Saturday May 27, 2017
Because we are keenly aware of how important the Minnapolis Sculpture Garden is to the community, city and state, we have been taking the public response over the last 24 hours very seriously.

The responses have overwhelmingly conveyed and expressed anger and sadness that Scaffold has cuased teh Dakota community and beyond. 

As the Executive Director of the Walker, I regret the pain that this artwork has brought to the Dakota community and others. Prompted by the outpouring of community feedback, the artist Sam Durant is open to many outcomes including the removeal of the sculpture. He has told me "It's just wood and metal -- nothing compared to the lives and histories of the Dakota people." 

I am in agreement with the artist that the best way to move forward is to have Scaffold dismantled in some manner and to listen and learn from the Elders. The details of how and when will be determined by Traditional Spiritual Elders at a meeting scheduled with the Walker and the artist on Wednesday, May 31 with the support of a mediator selected by the Elders. This is the first step in a long preocess of healing. 

We will continue listening and communicating to the public as plans develop in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.