Walker Art Center Will Remove Scaffold Sculpture, Dialogue with Dakota Elders to Proceed

This statement just in from Olga Viso, Executive Director of the Walker Art Center

Scaffold sculpture will be removed from new Sculpture Garden.

Because we are keenly aware of how important the Minneapolis 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 caused the 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 removal 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 Dakota 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 process of healing.

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

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4 thoughts on “Walker Art Center Will Remove Scaffold Sculpture, Dialogue with Dakota Elders to Proceed

  1. Remove it as soon as possible. Ut would have been a terrible reminder of one of the worst atrocities in our history.

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  2. As soon as possible. Please consider in the future mounting a major exhibition that is done in thoughtful dialogue with all the Native peoples. Let THEM say what an appropriate artistic statement would be. It is their history. Let them say what they thing should be exhibited on land that was once theirs.

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  3. May dialogue, healing and deeper understanding result.
    With appreciate to those who spoke clearly, and the Walker for listening and responding in a timely manner.

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