For Pete's Sake

Nelson-Atkins will have a mini-golf course on lawn in 2018

There will be miniature golf among the shuttlecocks in 2018.
There will be miniature golf among the shuttlecocks in 2018.

The “Windmill near Rotterdam” by Dutch artist Johan Barthold Jongkind is not currently on display at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, but maybe next year there will be a windmill in the sculpture park.

After all, windmills are often found in miniature golf courses, and one is coming to the lawn of the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park in 2018. This won’t be a run-of-the mill mini-golf course, however, because the museum is planning an “artist-designed creative art course,” on the lawn.

“The objective of this course is to present a playful, one-of-a-kind interactive experience that highlights the museum’s collection in new and unexpected ways,” the museum said in a release. “The Nelson-Atkins is seeking design proposals for each of the nine mini-golf course holes that will be included in the course.”

Each hole would be designed by a different artist and must be able to handle “an enthusiastic, club-wielding public of all ages.”

Those are words you don’t hear often when talking about an art museum.

The deadline for artist submissions is Nov. 30, and the course would open in the spring.

According to the release, “Designs submitted for consideration must relate to the Museum’s art collection and/or architecture. Submissions are encouraged to be creative and incorporate the theme in any manner appropriate for their proposal.”

There will be a $500 stipend for the individual or team that designs a hole, along with “a free pass to play unlimited mini-golf for the summer season.”

Alas, there will be no electrical power available for the artists. However, the museum noted: “If you desire moving parts, we encourage you to find ways to make the works interactive, i.e. letting the players turn the crank for a windmill.”

The museum is expecting the mini-golf course to be well-used next year.

“Each hole must be designed to handle a large volume of traffic (approximately 30,000 people) without excessive upkeep and constant maintenance,” according to the release. “The course will reside outside for the entire summer season and must take weather into consideration.”

My hope is that shuttlecocks come into play in some manner.

You can read more about application process and the specifications for the course by clicking here.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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