The website CollegeRank recently named the University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum (WAM) 3rd on its list of the 50 Most Amazing College Museums—and first among college art museums—rankings based in part on public access and how the museum reaches out to the community.
One way WAM reaches out is through the student group WAM Collective, which fosters student ownership of the museum and advises staff on effective ways to engage the student body and community.
The Collective's latest project, called The Sweet Spot, will turn concrete to public art as it transforms the museum's front plaza into a temporary "pop-up" park.
Inspired by the pavement-to-park movement, the aim is "to shift perspectives and spark encounters that aren't always possible within a fast-moving and segmented society."
"We wanted to create a space that would act as a welcome mat for the museum," says Lexi Herman, special project intern at the museum, who is leading the process.
Visitors are invited to relax in the park, make a space for themselves, and stay awhile. The park will feature ongoing programs as well as a library of student-made zines.
It runs April 20-May 10.