Chamber & Walker
A comparison of the Chamber Hotel art and the Walker Art Center...
The most noticeable difference between the Walker Art Center and the Chamber Art gallery is the intent behind the collection. Chamber is predominantly a hotel with art as a running theme throughout, to have a lovely showcase for the hotel founder’s passion. The Walker, on the other hand is predominantly an art gallery. Chambers’ art is in a lobby setting or in the hotel rooms, seen as more a decoration. As for the Walker, people go there just to admire the art.
The size and way each are presented are quite different as well. The Walker sports very large gallery rooms with the ability to hold large collections all at once, being able to show a vast amount of one artist’s work or many different artist’s work to make one large exhibition with numerous facets. Chamber’s, on the other hand can still hold a lot of pieces, but not all in one place at once. The different guest rooms have different art pieces, but not able to be seen at once. They do have a small art gallery where different artists can exhibit a few of their pieces for a period of time.
The art itself is actually quite similar in each of the galleries. Both the Walker and Chambers display the modern, untraditional, upcoming and bold types of art. Big, bright colors are seen (mostly in Walker’s permanent collection and sculpture garden.) They both defiantly stay away from traditional paintings and mundane subject matter. The art of these places is risky, takes chances and challenges the viewer.
Looking at the galleries in the Walker, especially the Text/Messages exhibition, the art is smaller than that seen at the Chamber hotel. This may be because it is not being used to fill an otherwise empty space, like a lobby wall. The smaller pieces require a more intimate interaction with the viewer and the art. This is quite dissimilar than casually viewing a large, bold painting from across the room, while the Walker does have their share of art like that too.
I find both places extremely engaging and inspiring, for different reasons. The Walker is impressive in its size and breadth of works. The Chamber Hotel is interesting because this fine art is seen outside a gallery, but used as more like tasteful decoration.