The team at the Ellipse Arts Center is packing away the mosaic glass works and fine-art photography to bring out the . . . putters. When you've turned your gallery into a miniature golf course (albeit a highly artistic one), that's what you do.

Why golf? Cynthia Connolly, Ellipse's managing curator, had been looking for a concept that was both fun and meaningful. "We've been trying to develop programming to document Arlington County's history -- document the real people and neighborhood monuments that are disappearing," says Connolly, who has lived in the county for 17 years.

With this interactive art exhibit, Connolly's hit a hole in one. "The Tour of the Arlington Classic Mini-Putter" consists of nine putting greens, each designed by a local artist to reflect a different aspect of the county. Laura Jane Hamilton immortalizes the fab 1950s exterior of Bob Peck Chevrolet, while Jennifer Soles's "Little House, Big House" skewers the McMansionization of the city's once-quaint neighborhoods. Jim Doyle, Kelly Parkhill and Ellie Shea's "WARL Radio," with its mini radio tower, pays homage to the local love of down-home country tunes.

Says participating artist David Amoroso, whose "Poop 'n Scoop" dog-park-themed hole features kitschy cutouts of man's best friend, "It's a wonderful opportunity for people who wouldn't normally come into an art gallery to give it a shot."

Lisa Traiger

The Tour of the Arlington Classic Mini-Putter. Reception Thursday 6-9 p.m. Opens Friday. Through Aug. 13. Ellipse Arts Center, 4350 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington. $2, children with adult $1, reception free. 703-228-7710 or