At first thought there wouldn't seem to be much of a correlation between modern art and mini golf. Whereas the former seeks to invigorate with innovative designs and abstract concepts, the latter is often considered a leisurely activity with an artistic aesthetic most charitably described as American kitsch. Challenging such expectations, Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf is returning to spark imagination through cunning configurations, inventive mechanics, and impressive artistry. The game still centers on sinking a ball into a hole. However, things like roving targets, foosball-playing garden gnomes, living sculptures, and optical illusions complicate each path. An annual tradition, Walker on the Green utilizes conceptual designs from architects, engineers, and artists. Crossing the lawn, players will encounter a detailed replica of Augusta National Golf Course, miniscule Zen gardens, musical landscaping, ecological mazes, the classic table game bagatelle, and the ominous remnants of a "failed agrarian culture." Two of the more intriguing designs, a disorienting Ames room and a miniaturized version of the Walker Art Center, were created by University of Minnesota art students under the tutelage of multimedia artist Chris Larson. With artisanal hot dogs and beverages sold onsite, Walker on the Green remains one of summer's most artistically inspired diversions.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Mondays-Wednesdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Starts: May 23. Continues through Sept. 29, 2013