S.A.D. Park


S.A.D. Park is the world’s first park created for people with seasonal affective disorder to relieve their suffering and publicly recognize their common struggles. Located in Portland Oregon, in the heart of the notoriously grey and rainy Pacific Northwest, S.A.D Park is designed to ease one of the most prevalent mood disorders in our society.

In 21st century United States mental health disorders are being diagnosed at increasing rates and are known to be a public health crisis, and yet we primarily expect people to bear and treat these illnesses privately. This park reestablishes the social and civic function of public spaces by transforming a center city park into a site that mitigates this epidemic public health issue in a supportive, fun, de-stigmatizing collective atmosphere.

S.A.D. Park features healing levels of bright lighting, botanical landscape design, sculptural features, sound-scapes and aromatherapy to address and alleviate S.A.D. symptoms through multiple modalities simultaneously. The park will also offer group classes and activities to support people learning ways to live with and overcome their mood disorders.

S.A.D. Park is conceived by artists Ralph Pugay and Ariana Jacob. Ralph Pugay paints absurd situational narratives that collapse tangential ideas in unexpected ways, drawing from the complexity of our collective lived experience. Ariana Jacob’s background is in socially engaged public conversation projects. Over the last year her research has focused on the intersection of politics and emotions. Both artists hope to manifest SAD Park as an experiential model for how to reorient our culture away from privatized suffering and towards public, collective solutions.





This project was made possible by Houseguest Artist Residency, Pioneer Courthouse Square,The Oregon Community Foundation, and the James F. & Marion L. Miller Family Foundation

Friday November 18th 2016 4:30 – 9:00

4:30pm Park Opens

7:00-8:00pm Life Coaching by Andrew Dickson

9:00pm Sunset

Saturday November 19th 2016 9:00-9:00

9:00am Sunrise

10:00-11:00am Yoga with Rachel Hines

2:00-3:00pm Dance/Aerobics Class with Allie Hankins

5:00pm Meditation Session with Renée Sills

7:00pm-8pm Public Feelings Gathering

9:00pm Sunset

Sunday November 20th 2016 9:00-4:30

9:00am Sunrise

11:00am-noon Tai Chi with Portland Taoist Tai Chi Society

12:00pm Nutrition Talk by Dr. General Johnson

2:00-4:00pm Puppy Playtime with Puplandia

4:00-4:30pm Closing & free S.A.D. light-bulbs give away