portals project


The portals project is a community wide door decorating initiative. Inspired by the allegory of doors in Mohsin Hamid's Exit West, the Williams Reads committee invites all members of the campus community to join in an exploration of boundaries through public, community-created art. Groups and offices can sign up to decorate a door on campus.


DOOR SELECTION: Groups and offices who are interested in participating can either suggest a door for decoration or have one assigned by the Williams Reads committee. Due to safety considerations, not all campus doors are available to be decorated, but the committee will do their best to match groups with a suitable door that works best for their decoration plan.

DECORATION: Depending on date of sign-up, groups will have two to three weeks to plan and decorate their door. As people will be viewing the completed pieces without guidance, each group is responsible for producing an artist statement to accompany their decorated door.

CELEBRATE & DISPLAY: The portals project will culminate in an all campus gathering where a series of guided tours of all the doors will take place. Doors will stay up until the middle of February, with maps available at strategic points around campus to help facilitate self-guided tours of the project.

Questions? Please email Hale Polebaum-Freeman at [email protected]



12/13 to 1/10 : Sign-up Open

1/6 to 1/22 : Door Decorating Period

1/22 to 1/24 : Final Touches and Inspection

1/23 : Artist Statements Submitted

1/24 : Portals Party and Door Tours

1/24 to 2/12 : Doors stay up, self-led tours available

2/13 : Door decorations removed



Door decorations may not impede the normal function of the door(s) in any way - doors must open, close, swing, and latch in the way they were originally intended.

Decorations may not be used on emergency doors, exit signs, or windows within doors that are essential for safe operation.

Decorations may not mar finishes: no tacks, nails, glue, duct tape, paint, or carving can be used on door surfaces. Masking and/or blue painters tape is acceptable.