Putt it there
The Generator is a Sparks community warehouse where artists work on a variety of projects—many of them large artworks constructed for exhibition at Burning Man. For example, “The Space Whale,” Matt Schultz’s large humpback whale mother and calf sculpture, built for Burning Man but now on display in the Reno city plaza, was built at the Generator.
“Many people think we’re just a Burning Man thing, and, of course, that’s where we started, and that’s where our bread and butter is, and we’re always going to be here for all those artists, but we’re not only that,” Jessi “Sprocket” Janusee said. She’s a resident artist at the Generator and the nonprofit’s public programs and outreach coordinator. “We’re here for all of Reno—all of the greater community—Sparks, Tahoe, whatever.”
The Generator will host its second annual Halloween miniature golf event. It started last year, according to Janusee, as a spur-of-the-moment idea for using art and construction supplies left over from Burning Man projects.
“We make it out of our scrap materials, basically,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity. Last year, we decided to do it because we had so much left over after Burning Man. So, it’s a good way to put it all into something, make something with it, get a little bit of money and community outreach.”
Last year’s theme was simply “haunted mini-golf"—so, it featured all the usual haunted house accoutrements, like glow-in-the-dark skeletons. But, this year Janussee decided to go with a more specific concept: “Jankytown,” and the theme of a classic Nevada ghost town. Some of the holes will include concepts like Ghost Baby Manor, Crazy Cat Lady’s Shack and Janky Saloon.
“I really wanted to make the saloon, so it’s also self-serving,” Janusee said.
Many of the 70-odd resident artists of the Generator are contributing to the construction of the 18-hole course, but Janussee said she’s still accepting proposals for hole concepts from the community. (Interested artists can drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The event will be held on two days, Oct. 27 and Oct. 31, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. It will be all ages before 9 p.m., with candy, popcorn and juice boxes, and kid-friendly music. Janusee stressed how important the family-friendly aspect of the event was—providing a fun space for what she called “alternative families"—families with left-of-center cultural values or aesthetics, but who still valued a fun, safe environment.
However, after 9 p.m., the event will become 21 and up only, with “half-naked costume contests” and other adult-oriented entertainment. She said the hole that will be labeled a hotel during family-friendly hours will become a brothel at night (not actually in operation, she was quick to clarify).
The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Generator, but Janusee said it’s primarily a community outreach effort—inviting the community to play miniature golf on a bunch of goofy, funny, spooky holes built by local artists.
“It’s an opportunity to see what we’re capable of, and meet our community and our extended family.”
The artists built the course’s putters last year, but purchased the golf balls.
“The golf balls are haunting us,” Janusee said. “We’ll just find them randomly. It’s been a year, and we still just find them all over the place.” Ω