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WAM News and Events Blog

Breaking news, upcoming events, and periodic musings from the Weisman Art Museum.

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October 21, 2010

Let the Mob get you

Has the Mob gotten you yet? The Weisman Art Mob, that is?

They won't chase you down, but you might just learn something about collecting art. The Art Mob presents monthly events where you can learn about collecting in casual, fun settings. The 2010-11 Art Mob season kicks off tonight with an event at Highpoint Center for Printmaking.

The season lineup includes visits to artists' studios, exclusive tours of private collections, and previews of gallery exhibitions. Each event features free food from D'Amico Catering and wine provided by Big Top Liquors. At the end of each season, members get to help choose a work for the Weisman collection. A year's membership is $285 and includes benefits for two people. Read more and join here.

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(pictured above: 2008 Art Mob event with glass artist Fred Kaemmer)

November 2, 2009

They got WAMmered: ceremonial groundbreaking 10/26

"Get WAMmered" was the theme of the ceremonial groundbreaking celebration at the Weisman Monday, October 26. It marked the beginning of construction on the museum's 8,100 square foot expansion project, which will add five new galleries by fall 2011.

Watch a video:


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Visitors lifted a hammer and tested their strength on the High Striker. (Those who hit the bell at the top won a limited-edition t-shirt.)

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University president Robert Bruininks noted the importance of the occasion in his remarks to attendees. "This is an exciting moment for the Weisman," he said. "But it is exciting for the University of Minnesota as well, as we contemplate our enormous cultural and artistic resources, and as we work to integrate arts and culture more closely into the life and curriculum of the University."

Museum volunteers raised more than $10 million from private sources for the expansion project. Target Corporation committed an additional $2 million, and the University of Minnesota contributed $2.5 million.


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Joan Dayton, who co-chaired the project's capital campaign, also spoke at the event. (Carol Bemis and Karen Bachman were the other campaign co-chairs.) University vice president Steven Rosenstone and Target Corporation vice president Minda Gralnek made additional remarks.

Officials marked the occasion by raising a silver sledgehammer and pounding a steel stake into the ground where the construction will take place.

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July 31, 2009

Weisman Art Mob visits a shabby house turned modern home

Interior windows and translucent walls. Waterfall-tread steel stairs. Paired single-car garages. These are a few of the innovative elements that make architect Geoffrey Warner's Saint Paul bungalow an ideal family home.

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For their July event, Weisman Art Mob members were invited inside the home and immediately began to comment on its thoughtfully planned living spaces, constructed with a blend of traditional and innovative building materials. Warner is principal architect at Alchemy Architects and his house, known as the Goodrich House, was one of many custom architecture projects for the firm. Alchemy is best known for its weeHouse, a modern manufactured home that arrives on lots in prefabricated portions and is assembled in hours.

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Warner and his wife Dawn De Kayser--also an architect--purchased the home despite its sagging floors, impractical room divisions, dark spaces, and an unfinished upstairs. He and Dawn wanted to create a practical and functional space for their family of four to thrive for years to come. Their strategy was to remove unnecessary walls and create room divisions through building storage elements and custom furniture. They installed skylights, translucent walls, and interior windows to keep the house naturally and efficiently illuminated, even into the twilight hours.

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Outside, the Warners have created an expansive-feeling space within their standard city lot. With landscaping help from Phillips Garden, the yard is colorfully cast using a variety of materials including Ipe decking, copper, siding, rocks, and grasses. Twin garages nestled neatly near a tidy vegetable garden and connected by a weathered steel alley wall add a historical feel and lots of charm.

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Warner (pictured above right), De Kayser, and Alchemy Architects operations manager Betsy Gabler carried on individual conversations with Art Mobbers throughout the night. Members left for the evening having experienced a home that is balanced between ornate and functional, sensible and lush, and traditional and modern.

The next learning adventure for Art Mob members takes place in September; a walking tour of the U of M's public art collection. Learn more about Art Mob membership and view a full calendar of events.

December 12, 2008

Art Mob Fueled by Fire at Fred's Glass

A bitter cold evening became downright balmy for the forty-odd members who attended the December 11 Art Mob at Fred’s Glass in Downtown St. Paul. Guests were treated to an evening of glassmaking and more as they became immersed in the work of glass artist Fred Kaemmer.

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Once a small fire station, Fred’s Glass is a work of art in itself. Art Mobbers arrived and began the evening with wine, hors d’oeuvres, and conversation while strolling through the expansive second-floor gallery and living quarters.

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After introducing his work, Kaemmer led guests downstairs to his hand-built glass studio, where he demonstrated the glassmaking process step-by-step.

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For many Art Mob members, this was their first chance to observe glassmaking in person. In a field where one usually only sees the finished product, it was also a rare opportunity for all of us to observe art being made before our eyes.

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