Skip to main content

From can factory to mini golf course? Help design St. Paul's 'strange art beast'

  • Author:
  • Updated:

What can you do with a can factory that can't make cans anymore?

Putt. As in mini golf.

The folks behind Can Can Wonderland are challenging artists, engineers, and assorted dreamers to help design a mini golf course in a St. Paul industrial building.

In its call for entries the group says it wants to fill its newly acquired 19,000 square foot building with "playable art" and answers the "Why?" question this way:

"Besides the obvious reason that there's not nearly enough awesome mini golf in the world, we're also birthing a strange art beast that can exist outside of the confines of the granting cycle by producing a self-contained economic engine for the arts."

Until recently the group was calling its project Blue Ox Mini Golf and has been working on lining up support through Springboard for the Arts.

Can Can Wonderland encourages designs that make use of kinetics ("holes that incorporate mechanical, motorized, hydraulic, pneumatic, or human powered movement are sexy and awesome"), as well as the ample space its 20-foot ceilings afford.

Of course, mini golf courses designed by artists and architects are no longer a new idea. To help inspire builders, Can Can Wonderland points them toward videos of some of its favorites, such as Smash Putt and Par King.

Can Can Wonderland says its founders have had a hand in projects including the Walker Art Center's mini golf course, the Ten Second Film Festival, and the Soap Factory's Haunted Basement.

Last week, Can Can Wonderland became one of Minnesota's first Public Benefit Corporations. It's a type of corporate entity authorized by a new state law that took effect on New Year's Day.

The Pioneer Press reports the designation allows corporations to use some of their resources on a broader societal benefit without risking a lawsuit from shareholders.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 9.58.36 PM

Eric Perkins, Miss Minnesota, Paul Fletcher create new podcast

The podcast is released Tuesdays at 8 a.m. and is available wherever you find podcasts.

Mock aircraft cabin.

MSP Airport debuts mock aircraft to help ease flying anxiety

The pre-flight experiences cover the TSA screening procedure, exploring a terminal, boarding a plane and meeting a pilot, and preparing for takeoff.

Scripps National Spelling Bee

These Minnesota kids will be competing at National Spelling Bee

The upcoming event in Maryland will be the first fully in-person Scripps National Spelling Bee since 2019.

covid, kids

New data shows how omicron has impacted kids in Minnesota

The new data shows breakthrough data during the omicron period, which began Dec. 19, 2021.

Javen Juan Moreno

Albert Lea shooting suspect arrested after 3 weeks on the run

He is accused of shooting a man in the upper thigh on May 1.


Motorcyclist, 59, killed after losing control on right curve

The Harley Davidson rider was thrown from his bike.

state capitol Minnesota

Minnesota's 2022 legislative session: What's happening?

A list of items agreed upon and yet to reach any bipartisan agreement in the latest legislative session.

water drain

Water main break floods 40-45 homes in St. Louis Park

The city says the rupture happened on Minnetonka Boulevard.

Eli Hart

Charges: 6-year-old Eli Hart shot up to 9 times by his mother

The 28-year-old is facing 2nd-degree murder charges.

dave lee wcco radio

Former WCCO Radio host Dave Lee moves into podcasts

His new podcast, called 'My First Concert,' launched last week.

Tow Boat

Tow boat collides with Mississippi River lock and dam in Alma, WI

The crash remains under investigation by the United States Coast Guard.

unsplash school bus

Police: Man in minivan approached kids, claimed he was former principal

Investigators say children were approached by a man in a white minivan who falsely claimed he'd been a local school principal.


A new artist-designed, indoor mini golf course is coming

If you could design a mini golf hole of your choice, what would it look like?