The King Tide MoonTide Garden Party
An observation of the October, 2014 King Tide took place at MoonTide Garden, an installation created by artists Mags Harries and Lajos Hedér on Portland, Maine's waterfront . The King Tide, which peaked at approximately 12:09 p.m. at 11:39 feet, was met with a mix of art and science activities. This was the third event of its kind since December 2013 and was presented by the King Tide Party in collaboration with the University of Southern Maine and the Gulf of Maine King Tides Project, which also hosted the Gulf of Maine King Tide Photo Contest held in three states and two Canadian provinces.
Giant King Tide and MoonTide puppets greeted audience members who were prompted to participate in Sending and ReSEAving, a ritual guided by KTP actors. Instructions were provided for writing personal messages about King Tide. The messages were rolled tight, placed in green glass bottles and "sent to sea" on a bright orange raft made of recycled materials. The tethered raft floated in MoonTide Garden until the current began to shift; it was then brought to shore where the messages were retrieved, read aloud and pinned to a fishnet curtain for public viewing.
Student participation in the project was organized through the USM Art Department's special topics course, Shaping the Terrain. Class projects included organizing a King Tide Ride event for cyclists and environmentalists and placing blue surveying flags on the grounds near MoonTide Garden to mark a projected 3' water line based on the highest annual tide (HAT) for 2014.
King Tide/MoonTide Puppets - Blainor McGough and Mayo Street Arts
Raft - Chris Byron, Caroline Losneck, Kelly Rioux
Sending and ReSEAving - Megan Grumbling and Portland Actors
Blue Line - Jan Piribeck and Shaping Terrain Students: Nicholas Barter, Amber Desrosiers, Marina Douglas, William Freeman, Ken Gross, Emma Hazzard, Richard Hudon, Abigail Johnson-Ruscansky, Ryan Jordan, Kristyn Peterson, Caitlin Puchalski, Samantha Quimby, Lisa Willey, Mike Witherell
King Tide Ride - Lisa Willey
Photo Credits - Liz Bieber and USM College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences