Sheldon Art Galleries invites visitors to tee it up at indoor golf course in summer 2018 | St. Louis Public Radio

Sheldon Art Galleries invites visitors to tee it up at indoor golf course in summer 2018

Nov 24, 2017

Indoor golf is coming to The Sheldon Art Galleries this summer.
Credit Provided | Scott MacLeod | Flickr

A St. Louis institution known for displaying paintings will temporarily change its focus to putt-putt next summer.

In June, all 6,000 square feet of The Sheldon Art Galleries will become a mini golf course.

Visitors can actually play the course, Sheldon Director Olivia Lahs-Gonzales said.

Sheldon director Olivia Lahs-Gonzales said Golf the Gallery will be the only mini golf course in the city of St. Louis.
Credit Provided | The Sheldon

“Usually, you go into an art gallery and you’re not allowed to touch anything,” Lahs-Gonzales said. “This is an opportunity to be immersive, to have an immersive experience.”

Artists have until Dec. 1 to submit their proposals for "Golf the Galleries." The Sheldon will open the course in June, with different artists creating each of the nine holes.

“This will, hopefully, broaden people’s notions of what could be considered ‘art,’” she said.

Lahs-Gonzales expects it to appeal to a variety of people.

“[It’s] certainly date-friendly, certainly family-friendly,” Lahs-Gonzales said.

Adults will pay $10 to play, children, $5, with discounts for Sheldon members. The course, will be open through Aug. 11, and accessible to everyone, with all holes compliant with standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This watermelon-themed hole is part of the 2016 golf exhibition at New York's Figment institution.
Credit File | Gary Dolan | Figment

The Sheldon was inspired by similar projects by art galleries around the country. A New York institution called Figment has offered an artist-made mini golf course for the past nine years. The Walker in Minneapolis also has an annual mini golf exhibition. The Indianapolis Museum of Art debuted its playable golf display last summer. 

But those courses are all outside. The Sheldon has no outdoor area; the indoor course is a first.

Given the tight space, and the nature of the project, artists know up-front they should make their work durable and take responsibility for anything beyond minor repairs.

“The artists need to build with an enthusiastic, golf club-wielding public in mind,” Lahs-Gonzales said.

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