Press Release

Popular Art Course at Nelson-Atkins Extended to Oct. 14

Kansas City, MO
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Art-inspired Mini-Golf to Continue in 2020; Search Begins for New Hole Designs

The installation of a mini-golf course in the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City has been so successful that tee times will be available through Oct. 14. Art Course was originally set to close after Labor Day.

Art Course succeeded beyond our wildest imagination,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “The response from the public has been overwhelmingly positive, and it’s very gratifying to watch families, children, and groups of friends engaging with the art in new ways.”

Art Course holes were conceived by local designers, architects, and others who submitted proposals to the Nelson-Atkins based on the museum’s collection. Nine holes were chosen from 75 proposals submitted.

In 2020, the second year for Art Course, the museum will consider fabricating holes from new design proposals. A request for proposals can be found on the museum’s website, nelson-atkins.org, asking anyone interested to submit a hole design representing a creative spin on a work of art in the Nelson-Atkins collection. The deadline for proposal submissions is Oct. 14.

“We wanted our visitors to experience masterpieces from our collection in an entirely new way,” said Casey Claps, Manager, Strategic Initiatives, and the project lead. “The incredible number of players who went on the scavenger hunt inside the museum shows us that there is a desire to learn about the original works after playing mini-golf. Our collection offers so much variety for visitors, and this is something we are excited to build on for the second year of Art Course.”

The self-guided scavenger hunt that guides players on a search for art that inspired the holes was immensely popular. Those works of art inside the museum are specially marked to alert the public to their “alter egos” out on the mini-golf course.

As an added attraction this past summer, the new Terrace Snack Bar near the course offers players an array of light fare, from beer and wine to ice cream and snacks. On Friday nights, boxed dinners are available for purchase, and live music enlivens the Sculpture Park.

Also this summer, the Nelson-Atkins opened its doors every Monday after having been closed on Mondays for years. The response was immediate and positive, and the Nelson-Atkins will now be open every Monday for the foreseeable future.

“We opened the doors on Monday as a way to be even more accessible and inclusive in all we do,” Zugazagoitia said. “For many people, Mondays are a day of rest or a holiday that allows them to come to the museum with family and friends, and we are thrilled that the community has embraced this initiative and that we can better serve our visitors.”

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Left - Rumi, Mark di Suvero, 1991 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, photo credit Mark McDonald; Right – Rumi-inspired miniature golf hole at Art Course, Nelson-Atkins Museum, photo credit Dana Anderson

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