Alfred G. Evans is a dreamer. His neighbors, and even his family, think he’s crazy for what he does. Evan creates mini-golf courses made out of trash on a thin strip of grass next to the highway. To him, it’s more than an escape–it’s art.
Alfred G. Evans is a dreamer. He’s in his fifties, lives with his mother in public housing and is on disability. Evans’ neighbors, and even his family, think he’s crazy for what he does with his time. Across the street from his building, there’s a small strip of grass in the shadow of a highway onramp that he calls his “canvas.” For Evans, he’s the artist.
Evans collects litter, detritus, rubbish–stuff that doesn’t belong to him that’s been discarded–and transforms it into mini golf courses, right next to the entrance to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
About a year ago, Evans went through a divorce. He needed a way to work through his feelings. Evans found golf–but he’s never set foot on a golf course.
His neighbors have given him a nickname: “Tiger Hoods.”
Passerbies give him strange looks. The DOT keeps taking away his courses; his installations. But Evans continues to go out, sometimes late at night. He’s started dressing the part, too. People have given him secondhand clubs, gloves, and a scally cap.
But Evans prefers his course to the real thing. Here, he controls the terrain–he sculpts the landscape, and for a moment, he’s not Mr. Evans, he’s “AG, the Director.”
I was called to do something, and when you’re called to do something, you kind of question your sanity. Including my own family, who thought I was a little off the rocker…what are you doing over there…are you putting up all this art or, you know, at first they didn’t see it as art.
This coming up of going outside and I looked; what can I do? I just started by picking up the loose papers as I could. It looks unkempt. It looks like, who’s actually responsible for that piece of land, the corner on which I work. And I got the idea that I could make a difference. I could just do my part.
Yeah, it didn’t…I don’t think I started off as trying to create any art because I was taking a mesh of discarded items put together and formed to make something…
And the imagination of creating a shot. It does something when the ball goes in, too. You’ve imagined hitting it around an obstacle on uneven turf and when it goes in, it’s just the best feeling in the world. Like, yeah, I’ll take on Tiger Woods right now–on my course, but…
I would call myself now, AG the Director. Because I direct the grass on the way to go, the ball and the art…so I actually direct this whole thing, so…
The most beautiful times are when no one’s up and it’s late at night. And then I put down some lights…and I don’t know, I just take my mind someplace else. But I think I get focused to the point where…yeah I’m getting, I’m getting, I’m getting there….
I hope it inspires some young mind to dream. No one actually around here would dream of anybody of being a golfer because they are not exposed to it.
But I don’t ever want to stop dreaming. This is something I can do and I find I do it well. That’s the beauty in it.