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 fastened their horses and carts to the rings. 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. The
project immediately took off and got notice around the city. Before long the project was adopted by the citizens of Portland.
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 impact peoples' lives. One great example is the Portland couple who met around a horse on a ring
and ended up getting married. Read about it here, and also check the Flickr video here.
Original images of the project can be seen here. Also, a brief documentary was made in 2011, It's a Ring Thing.
Images from Instagram with the tag #PortlandHorseProject