Walkabout: Global celebration at Phoenix Art Museum - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Walkabout: Global celebration at Phoenix Art Museum

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Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:10 am | Updated: 1:33 am, Mon Feb 7, 2011.

Fine art museums aren’t supposed to be this much fun — are they?

Deejays will spin music, kids will gallop around on Wild West-style stick ponies, dancers will move to African and Flamenco beats, and actors will bring portraits to life Sunday at Phoenix Art Museum.

It’s all part of Walkabout, an annual celebration that brings the diversity of the museum’s global art collection off the walls and out of the galleries — and into experiences people can watch, listen to, taste or try with their own hand.

“Phoenix Art Museum’s outstanding collection of more than 18,000 works spans the globe and the centuries,” says museum director James Ballinger. “Walkabout is a way to experience the artwork in a larger cultural context, which includes food, music and performance.”

Inside the museum, visitors will find live acts by storytellers, artists and musicians. Outside, more performers — and restaurants — will present sights, sounds, tastes and smells from several continents.

Walkabout has another draw: the reopening of the Asian, American, European, Latin American, Spanish Colonial and Western American collection galleries. They’ve been closed since May 2010 for renovations.

“We’ve utilized new floor plans to highlight collection favorites and showcase works that were not previously on view,” Ballinger says.

During the event, docents will be stationed in the galleries to answer questions and help guide visitors.

Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or azajac@evtrib.com

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