Arts and Culture

Any respectable art museum will have a collection of paintings, drawings and sculpture, but electronic forms of art are becoming increasingly important.

As part of the Speed Art Museum’s expansion, film will be getting more attention than ever before.

The museum recently appointed its first-ever curator of film — and he has big plans for the new Speed Cinema, scheduled to open in March 2016 along with the rest of the expanded museum.

Dean Otto comes to the Speed from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where he spent nearly 25 years.

At the Walker, Otto organized film retrospectives, curated exhibitions and organized a series of visiting guest artists. He also worked with other regional film organizations to create collaborative projects, rather than being in competition with each other.

“We were really focused on building a strong film community across the Twin Cities, and I’m hoping to bring that here and also to be expanding upon that,” Otto said.

The 142-seat Speed Cinema was designed by renowned projection specialist James Bond and will have the capability to show 16 millimeter, 35 millimeter, and digital films. Before the expansion, the Speed occasionally presented films but did not have a full-fledged film program.

“I’m hoping to start weekend runs of art-house cinema films. I really want to work with the education department to introduce film to young audiences and to children,” Otto said.

He is also hoping to begin outdoor film screenings at the Speed, something he did at the Walker, as well as bringing experimental films and works by cross-disciplinary artists.

Otto will begin work this fall.

(Featured image by Roman Bonnefoy/Creative Commons)

Tara Anderson is a writer, host, and audio producer.