Monday, June 28, 2010

Portland Acupuncture Project – art and acupuncture for the city

A week or so ago I noticed a huge installation piece in the park by our house. I was intrigued. A short stroll to the park revealed this is part of a project “exploring the interface between art, regional planning, traditional Chinese medicine and the health of a city. Needles appearing across the city will bring attention to the some of the city's most challenging problems, greatest assets, as well as places with enormous potential.”Here is what the artist has to say about this particular site…

Point Name: Field of Neighborhood Dreams
Meridian: Small Intestine
Location: Fernhill Park/Old Whitaker School

This empty parcel of land is the site of the old Whitaker - Adams School, torn down 3 years ago due to mold and radon problems. Now the Cully and Concordia neighborhoods are pressing for something to happen here that benefits and empowers the local community. This could be another school or college campus, a community center, affordable housing, or commercial development that provides services and jobs for this neighborhood.While we were there the giant needle was certainly drawing a steady stream of interested folks who stopped to read the sign and test out the rigidity of the needle. And it’s true, casual talk with our neighbors does turn to the latest word on “what the city is going to do with the site”… if you want to learn more about the project click here or to find the other needles around town click here.


  1. If only terra-acupuncture could fix oil spills...really interesting project. Maybe planting that site with plants that absorb toxins while waiting to figure out what to do with it?

  2. I'm thinking that open field is just what every community needs. Hey kids, let's play a game of pick-up softball.

  3. Interesting! Seems like a good to get neighborhoods talking!

  4. Refreshing way to bring awareness to some of the city's blight. with the parcel of land, I am not certain if mold and radon passes into the soil, but seems like good place for series of community gardens, picnic areas, and lots of trees. Matti

  5. Denise, omg yes! If only. Right now all that's planted there is weeds.

    ricki, agreed...but Fernhill park is attached to this field so that need is pretty much taken care of.

    Laura, yep...I think that's what the artist is hoping.

    Matti, the city is pathetically short of community garden space so that is a really good idea!

  6. Ha! An Acupuncture Project seems right up your alley. If you need acupuncture, you just take a stroll in your garden :D

    I think that the city' idea is a good one. Those needles are easy to see, and are very intriguing since it isn't immediately obvious what they are, and thus, what purpose they might be serving. I say, turn those lots into community gardens!

  7. Sylvana, I never thought of that but you're right! I have all sorts of needles and sharp things....


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