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Watson College News

Janna Robertson Leads ‘Forest of DREAMS’ Mural Project in Wilmington

Saturday, January 02, 2016

WCE professor Janna Robertson is pursuing her passion for the arts and leading a community effort to beautify a section of downtown Wilmington this semester.

On a Facebook Event page created for the project, Robertson wrote, “DREAMS of Wilmington is dedicated to inspiring and empowering children through the arts, but the large gray, ugly wall on the building’s east side says otherwise. We need your help to create a ‘Forest of DREAMS.’ Through painting exotic flora and creatures, our goal is to transform and beautify a somewhat forgotten part of Wilmington that could really use the community’s love.”

Robertson’s vision is to engage schools, churches, businesses, community organizations and individuals to sponsor artists, assist with the design of 50 whimsical creatures and help with the painting of a 240-foot long mural at Fanning and 10th street in downtown Wilmington where the creatures will reside. Painting is scheduled to take place on Saturday mornings, from February through the end of April.

To date, Robertson has secured more than 40 sponsors and dozens of community volunteers. Sponsors include UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Plantation Village, Nourish NC, Bangz Hair Salon and Wrigglesworth Ace Hardware, which donated five gallons of forest green paint for the mural’s background.

“DREAMS of Wilmington is a wonderful organization with a long history of engaging students through the arts,” Robertson said. “Their Public Art program is all about building community connections, beautifying neighborhoods and instilling a sense of public service among young artists. I am thrilled with the opportunity to partner with them on the ‘Field of Dreams’ mural project.”

Robertson plans to create a documentary about the experience with the Building a Better Wilmington Campaign, and she is partnering with her Watson College colleagues and students to conduct survey-based research about self-efficacy before and after participation in the project. She said participation in video interviews and research surveys is entirely optional, and volunteers of all ability levels are welcome to help with creation of the mural.

There’s still time to become a sponsor! A tax-deductible donation of just $50 will help pay for paint, brushes and supplies, and any additional proceeds will go to DREAMS of Wilmington. For additional information contact Robertson at robertsonj@uncw.edu.

Interested volunteers can sign up to help at: www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4aadac2ea1fe3-mural

Follow Robertson’s Forest of Dreams mural project on Facebook.

For information about DREAMS of Wilmington visit www.dreamswilmington.org.