A Little Time and a Keyboard: Engaging With Art: Playing a Round of Mini Golf Exploring the Back 9 at Elmhurst Art Museum

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Engaging With Art: Playing a Round of Mini Golf Exploring the Back 9 at Elmhurst Art Museum

Engaging With Art: Playing a Round of Mini Golf Exploring the Back 9 at Elmhurst Art Museum

The Back 9 Treats to a Whimiscial and Experiential Mini Golf Art Exhibit at the Elmhurst Art Museum in Elmhurst, IL

**Disclosure: I attended a special preview event at Elmhurst Art Museum with complimentary admission. No other compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


Par Excellence Redux: The Back 9 just opened at the Elmhurst Art Museum inviting the public to try their hands at a regional artist-designed miniature golf course with unique challenges. Par Excellence Redux pays homage to the original 1988 Par Excellence exhibit at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  The reimagined exhibit delights visitors with whimsical and inventive designs just as the original Par Excellence did.

Pinball Golf: An American Life by Wes Baker melds two favorite pasttimes.
Pinball Golf: An American Life by Wes Baker melds two favorite pastimes.

The Back 9 is actually the second half of the exhibit which started with The Front 9 over the summer. If you visited during The Front 9, you will note that the nine holes of The Back 9 are different than the first set.

 Join me as I highlight a few of the holes:

Pinball Golf: An American Life by Wes Baker is one of my favorite holes of The Back 9 mixing two favorite pastimes. Both golf and playing pinball require a mix of skill, determination, and luck. So, this hole melds a perfect pair! Plus, who wouldn't love using a glowing golf ball? Yup, that is part of this hole!

Mini Golf Holes Provide Challenges With Meaning

Timing is Everything by James Merx challenges golfers to perfect their timing skills.
Timing is Everything by James Merx challenges golfers to perfect their timing skills.

In addition to providing a delightful challenge, each hole has some meaning behind the piece.  Timing is Everything by James Merz illustrates how timing is so essential to life both as a companion and nemesis. To successfully put at this hole, you need to time the dial and pendulum correctly. I am happy to share it is a par 3 and I came at par 2!

Hole Nine Yards by Donna Piacenza treats golfers to a challenge and will live on in the form of community garden beds after the exhibit.
Hole Nine Yards by Donna Piacenza treats golfers to a challenge and will live on in the form of community garden beds after the exhibit.

Hole Nine Yards by Donna Piacenza is another of my favorite holes. Colorful yardsticks mounted on weather-resistant cedarwood crates craft obstacles. Upon conclusion of the exhibit, the materials for the hole will be used to create three community garden beds in Elmhurst.

Recreated Hole from the Original Par Excellence

See what your future holds with Determine Your Fate by Annalee Koehn.
See what your future holds with Determine Your Fate by Annalee Koehn.

The practice hole Determine Your Fate by Annalee Koehn is a recreated hole from the original Par Excellence and is the only returning portion of The Front 9. The hole entertains with a little fortune-telling fun! Artist Annalee Koehn participated in the original Par Excellence as well!

Mission: Mars by Vincent Lotesto takes golfers to another planet while golfing at The Elmhurst Art Museum.
Mission: Mars by Vincent Lotesto takes golfers to another planet.

Mission: Mars by Vincent Lotesto treats golfers to a trip to space! This hole encourages exploration through a variety of interesting Martian elements including a Martian mountain. Intergalactic!

The course was a lot of fun to play. Experiencing the vision of each of the artists in creating the holes by playing the holes added a novel element to appreciating art. The Back 9 presents a dynamic way to explore art crafting a truly magical adventure.

Details about The Back 9

The Back 9 will be open through January 2, 2022, making it into the perfect indoor adventure to celebrate the arts in the upcoming months! To participate in this experiential exhibit, you do need to reserve a tee time. Tickets are $10 for those 16-years-old and up; $8 for Seniors (65+), $5 for kids, and free for kids under 4-years-old. Additional special events including Trick-or-Tee Celebration (October 31),  A Tee-rific Thank You Night (November 12), and Ugly Sweater Night (December 10) add to the fun. The Elmhurst Art Museum does use COVID-19 precautions.



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