The saying is “art is in the eye of the beholder.”
It’s unknown if anyone has ever said that while beholding a putt-putt golf course.
This coming year Ellensburg’s Gallery One will be exploring the art of putt-putt along with other artistic endeavors, including putting an artist on a farm for a few weeks.
Monica Miller, executive director for Gallery One, said the new ideas came from a self-assessment conducted by the gallery’s board of directors.
“We want to better articulate the support we have for artists,” Miller said.
The new endeavors are designed to bring bring people into the gallery, take artists into the community and challenge creativity.
Putt-putt with a purpose
There is something abstract or surreal about most putt-putt golf courses, so it isn’t that much of a stretch to create one as a work of art.
Gallery One put a call out to artists to submit proposals for an indoor putt-putt course to be installed in the gallery. The courses must be functional (ping-pong balls instead of golf balls will be used). The deadline for submitting plans was Jan. 30. The courses would be installed on April 30 and be open to the public the month of May.
“Everyone we approached about doing this showed an interest,” Miller said.
The artists of Punch Gallery picked up the challenge as did Lincoln Elementary School Principal John Graf.
The appeal of putt-putt spans the ages, but this project ties in with arts education month in May.
“This is our second year of using May to make the arts part of education in the schools,” Miller said.
Gallery One will be doing outreach with local schools in May. Miller said one aspect of putt-putt is it involves engineering and ties in with the emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in the schools.
In terms of the putt-putt course, Miller said depending on the proposed courses, there’s probably room for nine or 10 holes in the gallery.
“We do have some cool spaces,” Miller said.
Art on the farm
After a year when there was much talk of the urban-rural divide, a Gallery One project will help build bridge that gap.
Artists on the Farm is a partnership between Gallery One and farmers in the Kittitas Valley. In the first year of the program, Gallery One will work with Green Bow Farm.
“The idea is to bring an artist into a rural environment,” Miller said.
She said she was having dinner with the owners of Green Bow Farm and the idea grew out of the discussion of the beauty of the farm.
The artist will be drawn from the Seattle area, will live on the farm for two to six weeks and be provided studio space at Gallery One.
Christina Miller, who owns Green Bow Farm with her husband, Matthew Cox, both came from an artistic background — they attended Cornish School of Art in Seattle.
“It is a perfect fit for us to be able to share the farm with an artist,” Christina Miller said.
Green Bow is in the process for moving from its old location to a 100-year-old homestead farm off of Vantage Highway. It will be in the new location by this spring.
Christina Miller said Green Bow will be part of the process of selecting the artist. Both Christina Miller and Monica Miller have connections to West Side artists and said there is a lot of interest among artists for this residency program.
Monica Miller said there is no requirement that a work of art be completed by the end of the residency, but that the experience will influence or inspire the artist.
One hundred days of creativity
In a variation of Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign theme, Gallery One is mounting Make America Create Again — a 100-day effort to create art that will be auctioned to support three community causes.
Artists are being asked to create art during the first 100 days of Trump’s term that will be auctioned off on April 29 at the Iron Horse Pub on Main Street.
Auction proceeds will go to Aspen, a domestic violence victim advocacy program, Habitat for Humanity and APOYO, a food bank that serves the local Hispanic community.
Artists are being asked to share their work on social media with the hashtag, #makeamericacreateagain.