mnartists.org and the Walker Art Center are pleased to present our third year of Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf, opening this May 23 and running through labor day. To celebrate our public launch, mnartists.org is excited to introduce the 13 artists and collaborative teams that will be producing 15 holes, composing two 7-hole courses with a shared 8th hole. Situated in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, this year’s call for artists encouraged garden-themed holes to celebrate the MGS’s 25th Anniversary. The course was selected by a team of Walker Art Center curators and staff, and presents a well-rounded roster of artists, architects, craftsmen, and designers, as well as a diversity in hole concepts, strategies for game-play, and new spins on traditional obstacles, skills and elements of chance.
Gopher Hole, Locus Architecture
Locus Architecture, of Minneapolis, crafts meaningful architecture for clients who care about their spaces and what they represent. They are true to their passions – modern architecture, sustainable design, community participation, innovative construction, detailed craftsmanship, and beautiful space. Gopher Hole challenges golfers to combine chance, putting skill, and physical analysis. The hole combines a converging chute, an elevated centripetal cone, gopher tunnels, and an obstacle-laden putting green. Can you predict where your ball will pop up?
Roaming Hole Gardens, Makesh!t
Dubbed “a weekly artistic free-for-all in St. Paul,” MAKESH!T is a free-form collective founded in 2010 with a mission of exploring the social and process-based aspects of art and collaborative making. Recent projects include rubylith screenprinting, slide and film manipulation, collage, letterpress, linocut, improvisational music, concrete casting, rubber stamp-making, outdoor projections and public drawing. The collective’s output reflects the wide-ranging interests and backgrounds of its members — Lucas Alm, Justin Heideman, Aaron Marx, Jake Nassif, Craig Phillips, Paul Schmelzer and Witt Siasoco — who are architects, collectors, writers, designers and media enthusiasts.
Deceptively simple in design and appearance, Roaming Hole Gardens transforms the familiar mini golf experience with a crucial twist: the hole roams. By moving topiary plugs from one hole to another, players change the object of the round for everyone, thereby altering the competitive and strategic landscape. The course’s artificial trees, shrubs and flowers are not merely aesthetic adornments, but mobile equipment. To play, you need to learn only one new rule: On your turn, hit your ball OR move the hole.
18 Holes in One, David Lefkowitz and Stephen Mohring
David Lefkowitz and Stephen Mohring are artists and Professors in the Art Department of Carleton College. Lefkowitz’s work in painting, installation, and mixed media addresses the blurry boundary between the human-built environment and the natural world, and his paintings of trompe l’oeil wall fixtures appeared in Lifelike at the Walker Art Center. Mohring’s sculpture combines traditional woodworking elements and digital technology. He also works as the resident set designer for Ten Thousand Things a Twin Cities based company that brings lively, intelligent theater to people with little access to the wealth of the arts.
18 Holes in One is a physical manifestation of an overlay of all 18 legendary greens as Augusta National Golf Course, home of the Master’s Tournament. The resulting composite will thrill and challenge both the novice and seasoned mini-golfer alike with eighteen potential targets on an undulating surface.
Garden Gnome Foosball, Nicola Carpenter, Bryan Carpenter and Susanne Dehnhard Carpenter
In 1998 Nicola, Bryan and Susanne had their first collaboration, a Peacock inspired Go-kart for the Father’s Day Art Soap Box Derby sponsored by the Soap Factory. Bryan brought his architectural background, Susanne her enthusiasm, and Nicola the whimsy of a seven year old. This family collaboration presents a mash-up of mini golf and foosball: the course first makes a half circle turn, banking noisily off of submerged wheelbarrows onto a playing field upon which the player and/or friends of the player may help the ball to its goal with assists from garden gnome strikers.
Zen Rock (The) Garden, Sarah Balk McGrill and Wesley Thayne Petersen
Sarah Balk McGrill is a photographer and owner, curator, consultant, and designer at McGrill Art Associates, an Art Consultation Group, where she produces creative environments for commercial and healthcare organizations through visual arts and exhibition programs. Wesley Thayne Petersen is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Sustainable Design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and owns a small construction company in Minneapolis, and values sharing the importance of sustainability as a core concept for living and building.
Zen Gardens are intended to imitate the intimate essence of nature, rather then reproduce nature’s appearance, as well as inspire meditation about the true meaning of life. Zen Rock (The) Garden brings this concept to mini golf, adding an element of playfulness and a focus on sustainable design.
Garden Maze, David Hultman and David Wulfman
Dave Hultman started his own design, machining, and fabricating business after working 28 years for the University of Minnesota where he designed and built research equipment. His current scope of work includes medical devices and scientific research equipment, furniture and building renovation. David Wulfman is a principal research and development engineer at Boston Scientific where he designs new products, processes, and material systems for medical devices. David was founder and principal at Facture Design, St. Louis, holds over 10 patents, including a track lighting system, a mechanical system for hard disk drives, as well as therapeutic medical devises, and is currently a PhD candidate. Hultman and Wulfman’s hole consists of a two dimensional, bi-directional pivoting frame, on the surface of which is embellished with a patterned garden maze motif, comparable to a tilting labyrinth game, in this case, the golf ball is used in lieu of a marble.
Rock! Garden, Aaron Dysart
In Dysart’s studio practice, the sculptor often parodies natural formations like tree branches or rocks, recreating and amending them with synthetic materials, such as wood glue – as well as the connotations of the alien material – often reimagining them as hybrids, functional objects and prosthetics. As a natural extension of his studio work (yeah, pun intended), Dysart will fashion his mini golf hole from musical fiberglass boulders, each coated in a glittering finish, appropriated from electric guitars and drum kits. We think these Dysart’s mini concert hole will be a rockin’, sparkely counterpart to Jim Hodges’ boulders and the infamous outdoor concert located on the adjacent hill.
Can You Handle This?, Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman
Robin Schwartzman (aka the Pink Putter) is an installation artist, a CNC Router technician and an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Minnesota. Tom Loftus (aka Mr. Tee) runs Modern Radio Record Label, works as a Career Services advisor at McNally Smith College of Music and is an organizer of creative endeavors. Tom and Robin share their love of mini-golf through A Couple of Putts, a blog that follows their adventures as they play and review courses around the country.
Loftus and Schwartzman create a giant watering can, incorporating kitsch and a combination of skill and chance. Can You Handle This? instructs players to loop through the watering can’s handle, through the can, out the spout and onto the lower putting green among glimmering ‘water’ and giant flowers.
In their individual artistic practices, Alyssa Baguss and Alison Hiltner are drawn to chronicling the histories of technological artifacts and how these objects can inform us of what is yet to come. Baguss’ work has been exhibited in the Twin Cities and regionally, most recently as a part of the Admire exhibition at Form+Content Gallery and Open Door 8 at Rosalux Gallery. Hiltner’s credits include solo exhibitions at Spike Gallery in New York, the Museum of Surgical Sciences in Chicago, a residency at Sculpture Space, two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grants and she was named one of the 2011/12 Jerome Foundation Fellows.
Swarm explores a failed agrarian culture, the landscape now arid and repurposed by new inhabitants whose only visual imprint is their architecture. Players are challenged to work their way through the landscape as an ominous hum echoes through the chambers of the structure, leaving players uneasy of what resides within. Through craterous insect nests into watershed carved alluvial flats the players will traverse this par 4 environment of the future’s past.
Be A Sculpture!, Nicola Carpenter, Bryan Carpenter, Susanne Dehnhard Carpenter and Sean Donovan
Artist Nicola Carpenter works in different mediums including video, digital photography, sculpture, and textiles, exploring themes of memory. Sean Donovan is a multimedia artist working with new media technologies, sound, and is interested the relations made by collaborative participation. Nicola’s parents Bryan and Susanne are delighted to join in collaborative production. Be A Sculpture! invites fellow putters to engage with mini-golf using their bodies to obstruct game-play: you become the obstacles for your friends! Taking cues from sculptures found in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, participants are invited to place their feet upon footprints on the green in this part-performance, part-sculptural, interactive hole.
Earth Avenues, Stormi Balise and Kyle Potter
Artist and painter Stormi Kai Balise and conceptual artist Kyle Potter have an outstanding collaborative practice through working on Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement. In Earth Avenues,
players walk up a constructed hill to tee off into a flower bed, then watch their ball tumble through an unpredictable subterranean world laid out by ants before rolling out onto the green.
Holey Lighted, Jeffrey Pauling and Tyler Whitehead
Jeffrey Pauling and Tyler Whitehead began working with each other while attending Clemson University for their Masters of Architecture degree in 2009. Both have a developed a passion for design and fabrication specifically dealing with the intersection of technology and craft. Jeff and Tyler are both currently designers at Cuningham Group Architecture in Minneapolis.
Holey Lighted calls into question the nature of nature. By using digital fabrication techniques and non-organic material, the hole attempts to recreate the sensation of a shaded canopy in summer, while the player navigates multiple folded steel planes. The constructive forces of nature help inform the overall form, structure and experience.
Le Bagatelle de Bagatelle, Karl Unnasch
Karl Unnasch creates hobbyist artworks from his rural outpost in Pilot Mound, Minnesota. He is known for his Guild-of-One mobile workbench where the public is encouraged to drop off acculturated ephemerae for the artist to re-contextualize and/or re-engineer. Le Bagatelle de Bagatelle, designed as a game board known as a bagatelle, is played as a tribute to the pivotal history (circa 1770’s) where French parlor games of skill developed into gambling games of chance in an era of opulence and excess. The playing field consists of a small-scale version of the Chateau de Bagatelle and its accompanying gardens.
2 Holes, titles TBA, University of Minnesota Students
These holes will be designed by students from the University of Minnesota’s Arts 3390 course, Sculpture Methods and Practice: Site, Environment, and Community Engagement, taught by Chris Larson.