Artists Design Mini-Golf Course at Olympic Sculpture Park

In a year that’s been more than a little bit of a downer, one fundraising project is set to bring some whimsy back to Seattle. The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is inviting local artists to assist them in building a mini-golf course in the iconic Olympic Sculpture Park.

The park, which is owned by SAM, will be host to several mini-golf holes designed by the artists for just one week. Admission to the course will go back toward funding various projects at the museum, and the revenue is bolstered by an elaborate fundraising dinner and cocktail hour.

As an added bonus, patrons of the golf course need not worry too much about the pandemic, thanks to the natural social distance of mini-golf as a sport.

Among the artists designing holes for the course is Kimisha Turner, with her creation “My Mind as an Artist.” Her design features brightly colored, eclectic pieces of art, ranging from a rainbow eye to burritos and a mandala.

Local ceramics artist Eroyn Franklin took inspiration from the SAM’s Porcelain Room for her design. However, instead of porcelain creations, her course — aptly called “Bull in a China Shop” — includes vases and delicate porcelain figures made from laser-cut wood, along with a bull cut from a large sheet of MDF.

There is one non-artist contributing to the golf course—local architecture firm LMN. The firm’s course, called “Scintillating Seattle,” recreates the Seattle waterfront with sculpted cedar wood. The hole includes the Great Wheel, sequins in the water and LED lights in the many skyscrapers represented on the course.

None of the participating artists had experience designing for golf courses prior to this project; they were advised by Minnesota-based mini-golf consultants Tom Loftus and Robin Schwartzman of A Couple of Putts. The goal was to allow each artist to have full creative expression with their hole designs, while still creating courses that were fun to play.

Although this mesmerizing mini-golf course will only be around for a week, perhaps it will inspire future courses and unconventional fundraising efforts. In the meantime, be sure to tee up. Fore!

This article was originally posted on the Seattle Times by  Moira Macdonald.

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