You’ve got a round coming up, and you’ve got a few holes to work on.
Now you’ve got a few ideas of what might look good in your new course. How about an old-school American barn straight out of HGTV, or a modern canyon? Or a UFO-like inverted hillside with an angled pond at the center? Any of those could, as long as they’re not your plan.
Joseph Bartholomew, the current featured artist at the top of this story, has two hit ideas: a flagstone amphitheater for tight finishes that can be installed in seconds, and a geodesic dome made from recycled bread dough, computer casings, steel plate and the like that can rise in the wind as you hammer it into shape. (Tell Bartholomew about your problem and he’ll be happy to let you build it.)
For his work, Bartholomew has been featured in countless articles, essays and art books, including a recent photo essay in Time, a page in Architectural Record, and a 2015 cover story in Golf Course Magazine. He was named Design Consultant of the Year by IGA magazines in 2011, and last week he received the Academy of Country Arts and Sciences’ “Contemporary and Outstanding Achievement” award in his profession.
It’s something of a surprise that Bartholomew didn’t appear on this list five years ago.
“I tend to be under-the-radar,” Bartholomew says. He didn’t even list himself as an artist on his profile page on the website Basecamp, which bills itself as the “Community of Genius.” He doesn’t make websites, or conferences, or exhibitions. He used to, but no longer. He’s teaching, because that’s what he does: as many classes as his time will allow, and he’s working with museums in New York to bring them Bartholomew’s ideas. He’s the executive director of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, a consortium of four hundred colleges and universities in the U.S. Bartholomew says he has a plane that travels back and forth, because that’s how he gets to work. The closest he comes to doing any high-profile art exhibitions is by hanging installation works at people’s homes, sometimes with the help of his students.
“I try to pick work that’s manageable,” he says.
And accessible. (Ladies and gentlemen, it’s running a golf course.) He’s also the brainiacs’ favorite painter, a handful of who helped him form a collaboration that he describes as a “Crazy Quilt” of artistic style. But he also uses paint, in a rather unconventional way.
“I cut crayons in half and paint each one with a different color to create a multi-colored image,” he says.
For his latest series, “Shackleton’s Command in Antarctica,” Bartholomew actually colored in the holes in his red-paintred walls, which were originally made to be dark — then he had to scale back, because when his walls are far from the sun they start to turn yellow.
Bartholomew lives and works on a farm in upstate New York, and looks out at the snow-covered forest and snow-covered fields and fields, and says it’s one of the most beautiful things he’s ever seen. He wasn’t born there, in fact, but his grandparents lived and farmed there. “It’s a beautiful, haunting place,” he says. It’s his home.
Read more from John Herrman: A catalog for this year’s museums and the year that was
‘Your mind breaks your skin:’ Still-life art is the Muse
Must-see artwork at Stampede New York gallery
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