Biolans sharpen their mini-golf skills at “Putt, Putt, Art” exhibit

Art students create mini-golf game stations in front of Bardwell Hall for their 4D Design class.


Haven Luper-Jasso//CHIMES

Art major Izah DeFigh stands beside one of the many mini-golf games by Bardwell Hall.

Patricia Yang, Staff Writer

Scattered around the front of Bardwell Hall are several curious stations. One looks like a chicken coop, another seems to be Wonderland-themed and yet another down the road, by the bell tower, is a station decorated with Minecraft trees and greenery. Biola art students created these mini-golf games as a project for the enjoyment of all passersby.


Jennifer Cai, a sophomore art major with a painting and illustration concentration, worked on one of the mini-golf games — a gaping-mouthed angler fish, located over on the sandy portion before Bardwell Hall. These games, Cai said, were made for her 4D Design course. 

“We create some mini-golf courses to let people play and vote for it,” said Cai. “[People] can vote for which one they like the most.”

Cai and her classmates learned how to work in the woodshop — each focused on the structure, playability and customer experience of her project. The students worked in groups, putting together their mini-golf games over the course of two weeks. Cai’s role in her project was making measurements and cuts to create the wood portions for playing the game itself. 

“For [our project], it took about ten hours to finish,” Cai said. “My group mates wanted to make something scary, and something similar to skee-ball. One of my teammates is really into Pokémon, so this was supposed to be a type of fish in Pokémon … but it turned out really different.” She and her group decided to make an angler-fish instead.

For Cai and her team, the most difficult part of this project was constructing the outside portion of the angler-fish. 

“[My friend] probably spent 16 hours on the outside,” Cai said. “It’s made of chicken wire, and she had to form it, and she used other stuff on it, trying to screw it in.” 

As it turns out, the angler-fish was so heavy that it took three people to move it into place.


Cai admitted she was not satisfied with everything about the angler-fish. 

“I guess we made the mouth too big, so the ball actually gets stuck on the side,” Cai said. “There’s a lot to improve on for this project. I think that’s the spirit of doing art. Just go for it, have fun in the process, and see what you can make in the end.”

Despite the difficulties along the way, Cai enjoyed the process of making her scary angler-fish mini-golf game and ultimately sharing it with her siblings. 

Cai also philosophized about her family members interacting with her imperfect art project. 

“They’re having fun, and that’s enough,” Cai said. “The main purpose isn’t to be perfect, but to actually have fun. So as long as people are having fun, that’s what makes me happy.”

The sun gleamed in the late-afternoon sky. The art students’ mini-golf games would stay for just another week before getting hauled out to let another potential exhibit show itself proudly to Biola campus. For now, the 4-D design projects will stand: the chicken coop, the Wonderland, the Minecraft game and the scary angler-fish on the sand, among others.

Correction: November 10, 2022

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the person referenced in the photo caption. She is art major Izah DeFigh, not Jennifer Cai. 

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