When I played mini-golf as a kid (or putt-putt, if you prefer), I always tried to imagine cool ways I’d build my own course if given a chance. Huge gaps to shoot over, crazy corkscrew holes, fire hazards, tons of rolling hill obstacles...anything to improve upon standard windmills and boring turns.
So when I read a call for art from Cable Griffith of the Kirkland Arts Center, asking artists to design and build a hole for a mini-golf course, the kid in me jumped at the chance!
But what to make? Cable was looking for serious but playable takes on the idea of mini-golf. He gave suggestions for themes – perhaps something to do with the environmental impact of the game, social-economic issues, classism, etc…but that all seemed just too heavy for mini-golf.
I was going to need help, so I enlisted sculptor Trevor Johnson (above) to partner with me and we got to brainstorming.
We knew we wanted the hole to retain the essence of a mini-golf course. Plywood, raw materials — nothing too nice, too well fabricated. But what should it be about? Then it hit me, not unlike the way a Cadillac Escalade hits a fire hydrant (then a tree), or an angry wife strikes a car window with a golf club. What is the biggest story in golf over the last year?
Our mini-golf hole/sculpture Tiger’s Lament started to take shape:
Trevor and I worked hard to re-create several of the elements from that fateful night last fall, along with a few bells and whistles. It is one of the most fun pieces of art I have had the pleasure of creating, perhaps because it is such a far cry from my more structured paintings.
Come to the Kirkland Arts Center Links Invitational and see if you can par Tiger’s Lament. A great group of local talent has assembled to create 9 unique and equally imaginative holes in the gallery, including Whiting Tennis, SuttenBeresCuller and W. Scott Trimble. The show opens with a big public tournament and reception this Friday, June 11 (6:00pm-9:00pm) and continues through July 29.
Come with your game face on. KAC will literally be keeping score.
Kirkland Arts Center, 620 Market St., Kirkland, WA