What constitutes a map? What everyday items get left off official maps? What can personal maps of Providence reveal?
Our archive of mental maps provides a sharp contrast to official city maps by offering a variety of individual interpretations, complicating one’s understanding of Providence. These maps were collected from New Urban Arts students, our archival team, and other city residents from 2009 to 2011. In the exhibition gallery the maps become silkscreens viewed on a light table. By collecting silkscreens—the mechanism of creation—rather than the maps themselves, we value process as much as product.
In the exhibition we also ask visitors to contribute their special places to a large hand-drawn map of Providence in order to generate a collective mental map of the city.