Southern Tier's Community Labyrinth Project

1. General Introductory Info

As a part of the Southern Tier iXpress program's "Community Labyrinth Project" and an extension of our explorations of labyrinths, Aspire's Mall Boulevard artists helped create a temporary labyrinth, 40" in diameter, in the Lakewood parking lot. And then, for the rest of the day, we all walked (and otherwise moved through...) the labyrinth, joined by staff, visitors-and even an intrigued passerby!

Mall Boulevard's parking lot labyrinth was created for the purpose of offering an on-site opportunity in creating and enjoying a labyrinth, and served to augment our individuals' involvement with "The Community Labyrinth Project", currently under development on Jones and Gifford Avenue in Jamestown. In addition to developing the 90' Community Labyrinth, individuals at Aspire and The Resource Center are busy creating clay tiles that will be assembled this fall into The Community Labyrinth's "Centerpiece Sculpture."

The parking lot labyrinth experience at Mall Boulevard helped us come up with an answer to the question, "what is a labyrinth?"

A labyrinth is, simply, a path that invites us into a created space, leads us to the center, and then back out again. Labyrinths of all shapes and sizes have been created by many different cultures for many centuries, for the purposes of meditation, exercise and enjoyment.

Following a labyrinth path is quieting and calming - and fun, too!

2. Here are the steps that we followed to create the Mall Boulevard parking lot labyrinth:

To begin creating the parking lot labyrint, we marked a center point. Then one individual stood on the center point, holding the end of a rope marked with knots at the 5' points.

Another individual ("the measurer") picked up the rope at the first 5' knot, held the rope taut, and moved slowly around the center point. A third individual ("the marker") followed closely behind the measurer, chalking the line until the starting point was reached, completing the innermost circle.

Then the measurer moved further away from the center, taking hold of the rope at the 10' knot. A larger circle was measured and marked this time, outside the first circle. As that circle was completed the process continued, moving further out from the center at 5' increments, measuring and marking a series of concentric 5' circles until the desired diameter for the labyrinth was reached. Then the openings were marked to allow for a continuous path from the outside of the labyrinth to the center and back out again. Finally, the "trial runners" took on the challenge...will our planning and measuring and marking lead us to the center?

It works for "all walks" and everyone!