Photo: Mikko Lemola
Photo: Mikko Lemola

Par Excellence Redux

May 9 – September 13, 2020

In a unique collision of recreation and art, the Elmhurst Art Museum will commission an 18-hole artist-designed golf course in homage to the wildly popular 1988 exhibition Par Excellence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The fully playable course will be conceived and fabricated by a new group of contemporary artists, designers, and architects selected through an open call process. Designed to fill the entirety of the museum’s interior galleries, the course will be comprised of a surprisingly varied collection of themes and forms, promising an unusual twist on a familiar pastime.

Participating artists: Wesley Baker, Julie Cowan, Current Projects, KT Duffy, Eve Fineman, Andrea Jablonski, Joshua Kirsch, Annalee Koehn, Latent Design, Vincent Lotesto, Joshua Lowe, Jesse Meredith, Jim Merz, David Quednau, Gautum Rao, Robin Schwartzman & Tom Loftus (aka A Couple of Putts), Liam Wilson & Anna Gershoni, and the museum’s Teen Art Council.

Advanced registration now available for private event rentals and kids birthday parties during this fully playable 18-hole mini golf course. This is the perfect setting for company retreats, weddings, and more.

The exhibit will pay homage to Par Excellence (1988) conceived by Chicago artist Mike O’Brien with a special display of ephemera, newspaper clippings, photos, and a recreated hole by designer Annalee Koehn. The original exhibit sold out daily and found its way to the pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, CNN, and the Chicago Tribune among others. The course went on tour to downstate Illinois before returning to Chicago as a rebranded commercial miniature golf course called ArtGolf.

Artist-designed golf courses are now a popular addition to many Midwest museums such as the Walker Art Center, The Sheldon, and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, but Par Excellence is widely believed to be the first.

Par Excellence Redux is curated by Colossal’s founder & editor-in-chief Christopher Jobson.

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Sponsored by: Bartlett Tree Experts, Brewpoint Coffee, W.S. Darley & Co, DIT Workshops, Elmhurst Artists’ Guild, Elmhurst Park District, Lakeside Bank, Kilwins, Maxine, Pints, Quality Home Services, Reconciled Solutions, Room & Board, Schwartz Injury Law, TCF Bank, Wangler and Company, and the Museum’s Development and Programming Committees.