A brand new public art installation, Walk this Way, in Little Bennett Regional Park is now open to the public through December 2022. Walk This Way is a self-guided, participatory walk in the woods which encourages play, observation, and appreciation for the natural environment in Montgomery County, Maryland.
This unique nature walk by local artist Inga Adda expands notions of place, movement and the relationship between humans and nature. Walking along Kingsley Trail in Little Bennett Regional Park, participants take on the role of “performer” as they encounter park signs with written prompts for actions or hypothetical questions to engage with. These posted prompts facilitate intentional interaction between the participant, trees, stream and sky highlighted throughout the trail. One posted sign encourages communication with the nearby stream through “conversation”, another asks participants to clap in sync to the rhythm of their steps as they progress down the trail ending in a shared applause and congratulations. All prompts allow park goers to experience peace in the outdoors, and find joy in the absurd. Visitors are encouraged to respond to the prompts through any interpretation they see fit. They are invited to record their movements and thoughts through photo, video, and or text on their smart devices and submit via QR code through the Montgomery Parks website.
Walk this Way is a “fresh and imaginative concept that allows our park-goers to slow down and truly connect with the abundance of nature Little Bennett Regional Park has to offer” , says Jordan Crumback, Parks Activation Specialist at Montgomery Parks. Adda specified she “wanted to create something ephemeral to challenge the notion of public art only being a material object, but instead an experience or set of movements that can be private or public. In this way, the participant is really ‘creating’ the artwork, and I am only setting the stage.”
Inga Adda is a Montgomery County based fiber and conceptual artist who explores the relationship between the body and landscape. After presenting this project during the VisArts 2020 F.E.A.S.T. contest and later receiving a CULTIVATE Project Grant, Adda spent several months walking the .75 mile long trail in Clarksburg, generating ideas, questions, and prompts to create the eight signs that are currently installed along the trail. She worked in collaboration with Montgomery Parks and CULTIVATE to realize this site-specific installation.
Walk this Way is situated along the Kingsley Trail; a wide, compact dirt road which houses the historic Kingsley Schoolhouse in front of a grass lawn with picnic benches spread out, and a portable toilet. This art piece can be enjoyed by everyone of all ages. Walk this Way is now open to the public every day from sunrise to sunset, through December 2022.
“I wanted to create something ephemeral to challenge the notion of public art only being a material object, but instead an experience or set of movements that can be private or public. In this way, the participant is really ‘creating’ the artwork, and I am only setting the stage. Each sign and corresponding text is designed specifically for that one trail and that one location on the trail in order to enhance the connection of person to place.”
-Inga Adda, Artist of Walk this Way
“Montgomery Parks is delighted to be able to be a part of Inga Adda’s artistic and poetic visions that have culminated in the Walk This Way installation along the Kingsley Trail. It is a fresh and imaginative concept that allows our park-goers to slow down and truly connect with the abundance of nature Little Bennett Regional Park has to offer. Inga has chosen a premium location for the installation, as the trail is fully accessible, includes a water feature, and leads straight to one of our popular historic sites, the Kingsley Schoolhouse! Walk This Way is both a fun and meditative experience that can be tailored to any audience that wishes to participate as they walk along the trail, and that is truly the beauty of the installation.”
– Jordan Crumback, Parks Activation Specialist at Montgomery Parks.
Walk This Way Exhibit
Kingsley Trail, Little Bennett Regional Park
23701 Frederick Rd, Clarksburg, MD 20871
December 2021- December 2022
(Source: Montgomery Parks Press Release)