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Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The greatest thing the art world has ever seen? It can be found for two nights only at Holocene
The Mona Lisa?
Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night? *yawn* Everything created by the Italian Masters? [rolls eyes] All of those pale in comparison to a masterpiece that can be found tonight and tomorrow at Holocene. Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, distinguished members of the art world I give you....
...the Pancake Hole, the 7th hole at Holocene's Fourth Annual Minigolf Art Invitational (link). If you travel all the way to Paris to visit the Louvre will you get a free pancake for your efforts? Afraid not. If you get a hole-in-one on the pancake hole though? Free pancake. With maple syrup. And if that wasn't enough? A free plastic fork.
The 12-hole course created by local artists and organizations around Portland really is something else and much more interesting than what can be found at your average putt-a-round. The first hole has a plot-line involving cartoon characters and their doomed search for a "temple of eternal cuteness." The last time I visited the mini-golf course at the Family Fun Center in Wilsonville? Nope, they didn't have anything like that. Nor a hole along the lines of the second hole, which forces players to use four security cameras to guide their ball towards a chute that will place it near its target.
The course is much tougher than the two in Wilsonville. I didn't earn myself a free pancake and I wound up getting 12 strokes on the "Tiger Woods" hole (get it?). My pathetic putting skills drew the ire of an Artie Lange-lookalike who spat, "See, this is why you're still single" at me as I left in search of the fourth hole. When was the last time I felt this humiliated? Probably sometime in high school gym.
For it's worth, he fared no better. That's one tough Tiger Woods-inspired mini-golf hole/art installation. Maybe I should have dared him to compete in a Caddyshack-inspired tournament. I would have called dibs on the dancing gopher.
Other holes included one made entirely out of miniature tourist attractions from around Portland and another with a hand-cranked stamper machine. Perhaps the most difficult was the 11th hole, which required players to bounce their ball off two walls and onto a green four-feet off the ground.
I don't think Portland will see a more quirky or cool art event in 2009. The invitational runs tonight and tomorrow. $8 will get you inside and the doors open at 6 PM. Players can vote for their favorite hole and the winning designer will go home with a $1,000 prize. If you walk off the course with less than 100 strokes you're a better golfer than I.
Photos of the entire course can found over here in a Flickr gallery.
Also: a quick thanks goes out to my sister Shanna, who got me in to last night's "friends and sponsors" pre-show.