THE PORTLAND HORSE PROJECT
PORTLAND, OREGON
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, and were used to
fasten 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 pictured a time when, instead of cars, horse carriages filled the streets. 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, the 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 have adopted the project as their own. Now, the horses and rings are even a tourist attraction.

The project lives on. To continue building community and enoucrage 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 out the Flickr-produced video here. (Also, the beer! See below.)

On Instagram? Share your pics and check out: #PortlandHorseProject

The very first images for the project can be seen here and below are some selected moments from over the years.
Also, a brief documentary was made in 2011, It's a Ring Thing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Also, this happened:

Dear Bridgeport, still looking forward to any compensation for the use of this project that you think is fair. Like, you know, anything.