THE PORTLAND HORSE PROJECT
Started September 24, 2005, the project is alive and well
The sidewalks of Portland are peppered with metal rings. Mysterious to many, they actually date back to the early 1900's
when citizens used them to fasten their horse carts. The city of Portland continues the practice to this day of preserving
and maintaining rings citywide. Even when a new sidewalk is built, rings are added.
I fell in love with the rings as a child in the late 70's. I always pictured a time when horse carriages would have filled the streets
instead of cars. Later in life when I started thinking about public art, it occurred to me to fasten toy horses to the rings. After
tethering scores of horses all over the city for several months, my experiment got more and more notice. Before long
horses started popping up that I had not placed, and over the years the people of Portland adopted the project as their own.
The project lives on. To continue building community and support participation, there is a burgeoning Facebook page where
anyone can post their own horse pictures and share stories. You really would not believe some of the stories that I have heard
about how this project has impacted peoples' lives. One great example is the Portland couple who met because of a horse on a ring
and ended up getting married. Read about it here, and also check the Flickr video here.
Original images for the project can be seen here and below is a live feed of images on Instagram tagged #PortlandHorseProject.
Also, a brief documentary was made in 2011, It's a Ring Thing.
Images from Instagram with the tag #PortlandHorseProject