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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

WAM is an unknown gem

Weisman Art Museum is an exciting place for all
Alex Hoag
Weisman Art Museum is home to 30,000 pieces of art, some being thousands of years old. The WAM is open Wednesday (11:00–8:00 p.m.) to Sunday (11:00–5:00 p.m.).

First opened Nov. 21, 1993, the Weisman Art Museum (WAM) has been an epicenter of the arts for University of Minnesota (U of M) students. Filled with photography, sculptures and unique interactive pieces, the WAM is a fun place for anyone to go. Even though it is located in the center of the U of M campus, it’s free to the public and everyone is welcome.

When you first walk up to the building, you are met with a futuristic metal structure that, at first, is confusing to look at. This renovation was completed in 2011 by architect Frank Gehry and reopened in October of that year. Once you get over the cool outside structure, the first thing you see is a large glass fish. It’s around two stories tall and takes up an entire room of space.

As you continue to move throughout the museum, there are many interactive exhibits that draw one’s eye. Right now the museum is featuring an exhibit called “The Other Four.” It consists of 16 multimedia artworks from all over the country. All of these pieces allow you to use one of your five senses to experience the art. One in particular that was very interesting was the pulsating rubber. This piece requires you to stick a finger in a tube of green light that is connected to rubber tubes, which begin to pulsate. It is kind of hard to wrap your head around, and I am not sure of the purpose, but it left me standing there trying to make the rubber move faster and faster.

While you move further into the museum, your eye is captured by, seemingly, an apartment in the middle of the museum. My favorite artwork in the museum, the “Pedicord Apts.” is a realistic structure that looks as though a real building was plopped into the gallery. The structure was designed by Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz in the 1980s. The purpose of this piece is to depict a grimy, eerie, hyperrealistic apartment complex, which it completely does. While walking through the hallway, I felt myself begin to have goosebumps. The windows are tinted, which casts a sense of darkness over the doors. Looking around, you start to notice stains on the walls. Even though it is just a piece of art, it seems as though you are walking through a deeply personal space with lots of history. The stains represent the amount of time the building has been around, and the stories that have passed through the walls. Walking into this museum, I didn’t really expect to be moved in any way, but the “Pedicord Apts.” proved me wrong.

Continuing through, you are able to see ancient Korean furniture, modern ceramics, modern geometric paintings and much more. The WAM pretty much has it all, with most of the art containing deep, personal messages. I am no art expert, but I found myself enjoying everything I looked at and spent time reading into each piece.

Even though I enjoyed each piece of artwork, the organization of the museum was confusing at times. It seemed like all of the art was clumped together and it was hard to gather a common theme from each of the rooms. For example, the Minneapolis Institute of Art is split up by area and time period, but the WAM was lacking this. Usually when I’m at an art museum I like to know what type of art I’m looking at, but without signage it was hard to gather that information. The descriptions of the pieces were also confusing at times, with the placard containing three paragraphs of information, yet leaving me with very little knowledge on the art or artist.

Organization aside, I truly loved this museum. It has such a great location and contains beautiful pieces from all over the world. The outside of the building alone is stunning and I was surprised that I had never heard of it. I would completely recommend this gallery to my friends and family, because even someone who knows very little about art (like me), will leave with inspiration and a newfound love for art.

Weisman Art Museum: ★★★★☆

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About the Contributor
Alex Hoag
Alex Hoag, Copy Editor
Hi! I’m Alex and this is my second year in Echo. I’m a junior and am so excited to be a part of the newspaper! In my spare time I enjoy playing guitar, listening to music and perfecting my Dave Grohl shrine. Some of my goals this year are to write the most bomb peices and re-watch every episode of New Girl (for the 12th time). I’m super thrilled to be on the team this semester!

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