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Public Art Monday: Giant gum ball machines par for the course

On Mondays, we share our favorite public art works from Houston and around the globe with you. An essential component of our art consulting philosophy, we believe passionately in the transformative power of public art for both the individual and in communities. Check out previous Public Art Monday posts here.

For those golf zealots out there who preach that the sport is an art in its own right, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden may have justification enough to convince others who may not be on your side.

Perhaps it’s not golf in all its complicated glory, but more akin its younger and more mischievous little brother who has a penchant for garden gnomes masquerading as foosball strikers, a scale model of a French chateau, mazes, gopher holes, giant gumboil machine, a retro truck, a hungry snake, chickens, stars and a gallimaufry of complementary quirks.

Surrounded by 40 works of art amid a canopy of Midwestern United States foliage, Walker on the Green: Artist-Designed Mini Golf is in its fourth year at the Walker Art Center, which invites local artists every summer to submit proposals for creative designs. The 2014 round saw the interactive exhibit grow into an 18-hole attraction imagined by a group of 29 artists, architects and collaborative teams.

Christopher Borrelli of the Chicago Tribune explains:

A typical summer of mini-golf rarely offers much beyond knocking your ball provocatively between the legs of a fiberglass Paul Bunyan. But Walker mini-golf, on the fourth hole, offers an homage to Marcel Duchamp: Strike your orb just so, and it soars majestically into a replica of Duchamp’s iconic urinal.

“Garden Gnome Foosball,” the third hole, is as advertised, plus wheelbarrows.

Sounds irresistible to us. The question becomes: Would you keep score?