Recent Press in The Chart: Walking Portland: A Reflection on “ecologies of the local” by Elyse Grams
PLATFORM PROJECTS/WALKS is an ongoing project that invites community for artist led walks and talks that investigate site, and explore walking as a creative tool, provocation, practice and product.
Started in 2016 with the help of a Kindling Fund grant from Space Gallery and the Andy Warhol Regional Regranting program, PLATFORM PROJECTS/WALKS 2016 began with an intensive two-week series of walks, films, video screenings, artist talks, reading discussions, and walks in Portland, Maine.
After PLATFORM PROJECTS/WALKS 2016, the work continued through encouraging projects such as Katarina Weslien’s Walking Kailash project that was walked by 19 artists throughout the world, offering local thematic walks -- a winter walk; walking the spine of Portland like a book -- offering a community class about walking art histories, publishing a catalogue of student research regarding walking arts, and creating public walks in other countries including Sweden, France, and Greece.
Now four years old, in 2020, PLATFORM PROJECTS/WALKS: ecologies of the local sought to again coalesce a group of artist-walkers to navigate site through embodied ways of understanding. Investigating our local Maine ecology, climate-related changes, and bringing together artists with scientists, PLATFORM PROJECTS/WALKS: ecologies of the local included an exhibition at Speedwell Projects; and a series of public walks, talks, and panel discussions that were supported by a grant from the Onion Foundation.
Walking arts in particular offer the opportunity for immersive experience in our natural world and with others. Through walking together we can continue to forge active and engaged community relationships, forming bonds we can draw on to further develop knowledge and critical connections as we face ongoing planetary changes in climate together.