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Trails Project

Susan Robb, Paul Rucker, and Stokley Towles

A mash-up of art interventions invigorates the life and landscapes of King County’s trail system.

Susan Robb and Stokley Towles. Caribou Cards (Trails Project), 2010. 50 game cards to prompt thought, action, and participation. Photo: Susan Robb

A card game, a cello composition, a set of scents. These are a few of the site-specific art experiences interdisciplinary artists Susan Robb, Paul Rucker, and Stokley Towles created to celebrate King County’s Regional Trail System (RTS), one of the nation's most extensive multi-use off-road networks, with more than 175 miles of trails for bicycling, hiking, walking, and horseback riding.

From April to September 2010, the Trails Project featured a series of experiential artworks, both on the trails and online. Each offering activated the RTS in a new way and reflected what Robb calls “the variety, vastness, and transformative nature” of the network. Together, she, Rucker, and Towles spent six months exploring the trails before sharing their individual and collaborative creations at several public events. A temporary project website, which remained live until March 2011, also allowed them to chronicle their experiences in a collection of photos, videos, writings, and sounds.
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Susan Robb, Paul Rucker, and Stokley Towles. Website (Trails Project), 2010-2011
Paul Rucker. Water Pieces (Trails Project), 2010. Live painting and performance. Photo: 4Culture
Susan Robb. Scent of the Trail (Trails Project), 2010. Place-based scents. Photo: Susan Robb