The Golden Door Mini Golf Course
Curated by Christina Vassallo + exhibition design by Risa Puno
June 27 - September 6, 2010
Jersey City Museum @ Hamilton Square / Jersey City, NJ

“I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” –Emma Lazarus, inscribed on the Statue of Liberty

Jersey City is known as America’s Golden Door because of its proximity to Ellis Island, America’s busiest immigration station from 1892 – 1954. Whether the newcomers settled in the area or passed through the golden door to other locations, Jersey City is the place where their American Dream began. It was the entrance to the land of opportunity, where anyone could seek prosperity, and hard work was rewarded with success.

In celebration of Jersey City’s rich history, Jersey City Museum invited artists to create golf holes for an outdoor miniature golf course that represents their interpretations of “The Golden Door.” Ten artists and collaborative artist teams addressed issues related to the golden door concept, such as immigration, economic mobility, transition, obstacles and roadblocks (and the solutions used to circumvent them), and different ways to exemplify “hard work.” Each hole combines recreational functionality with a unique participatory art project that focuses on ingenuity, resourcefulness, and play.

In addition to the artist designed golf holes, the course also includes a starter shack, a water fountain, and an entryway that are also inspired by the golden door concept. This fully functional mini-golf course will be open to the public at Hamilton Park, at the corner of Erie Street and Pavonia Ave, courtesy of SILVERMAN, the developers of Hamilton Square in downtown Jersey City. All are welcome to play on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Participating artists: Victoria Calabro, Asha Ganpat, Darren Jones & Ryan Roa, Hiroshi Kumagai, Tom McGlynn, Laura Napier, Risa Puno, Nyugen E. Smith, Amanda Thackray, Kai Vierstra.