Anything is Possible!

With Hope, Faith, and Perseverance

A Forest of Dreams

23 Comments

cover

In the face of so much sadness and violence in the world, one community came together and created something beautiful.

When they didn’t get the grant they applied for, Professor Janna Robertson and Matt Carvin, the director of Dreams, an arts program for at-risk youth, put their heads together. The goal was to paint a mural on a 240 foot wall to beautify the neighborhood known as Northside where Dreams is located. They decided to ask community groups to sponsor creatures to inhabit the Forest of Dreams. Over 1000 volunteers worked on the mural, and I was honored to be one of them. We worked in the rain and the heat, with lots of ants and other crawly things, and I loved every minute of it. Not only was I doing something I loved, but the  consistently positive attitudes of the people around me gave me hope. I’ve never before seen with my own eyes such a diverse group of people working together to create something so beautiful.

My assignment was to paint a heron reading a book using a rough sketch as a guide. The heron was sponsored in honor of  Dr. Bertha Todd, a veteran educator and civic leader who served as an important mediator during the racial tensions of the early 1970s. The book represents Dr. Todd’s memoir, My Restless Journey, which I’m looking forward to reading. (If you’re interested in purchasing the book, contact me via my contact page.)

IMG_3893

The heron took a few weeks to finish. Then, I added the two bunnies below to another section of the mural, as well as the white rabbit in the bottom left corner of the top photo.

IMG_3934

Among the forest creatures, you’ll see scrolls which tell this sweet story:

 There once was a deer, small and gray,
Lost and lonely, only a stray,
The deer was alone but did not know why
So he lifted his gaze to view the sky.

He yearned for the welcoming stars,
And wished on each one from afar,
Until, suddenly, one star grew,
Revealing a world he never knew.

 In this new light, he saw colors bright
A forest filled with fantastic delights
And amazing creatures unlike any type
He had seen on his side of the night.

He played and talked with them,
Gave to them and got from them
Sage words, gifts, and most above
Acts of kindness and boundless love.

Voices in the wind from souls long gone
Sung to him, the words of a song:
Grow, reach your antlers to the sky
You weren’t born with wings, but you can fly.

So he leapt into the starry night
And became a constellation bright
A Prince for all to see
A guide for those who dare believe

A wall is not always a wall
Sometimes it is not one at all
When you paint the world with dreams
Barriers are not what they seem.

A dream is not just a dream
But a place to start, a place to leap.

By: Jamie La Londe-Pinkston

 

Here are some of the creatures who live in the Forest of Dreams:

IMG_3867

 

IMG_3871

 

IMG_3873

Kids Makin’ It is a program where kids make things from wood. I thought it was very cool that the owl’s wings look like wood.

 

IMG_3875

 

IMG_3880

 

IMG_3882

 

IMG_3885

 

IMG_3886

 

IMG_3892

 

IMG_3897

 

IMG_3902

 

IMG_3905

IMG_3911

IMG_3914

 

Memory Tree

The Memory Tree honoring those who have passed on.

 

Deer

The deer

IMG_3937

The deer close up

IMG_3917

 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”                    Margaret Mead

 

For more information, visit the Forest of Dreams Mural Website

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Christian, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again, available at amazon.com.

23 thoughts on “A Forest of Dreams

  1. Reblogged this on Loving Me, Too and commented:

    Here’s the follow up to “Coming Home to Art.” I hope you enjoy the fantastic creatures on the Forest of Dreams mural!

  2. Awesome, JoAnna!!!! ❤

  3. Wow, this is just amazing! I’m so impressed. 🙂 ❤

    • Thank you for seeing that! A lot of people worked hard on this, but I got the feeling we all loved it. Looking back, I believe we were engrossed in the creative flow I felt every time I worked on the wall. We worked individually, yet connected by the wall. I’m realizing that I’m still processing this experience.

  4. This is so heartwarming. It did put a smile on my face on a terrible day. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  5. Pingback: An Unexpected Perk | Anything is Possible!

  6. What a huge dose of magic for a world that needs more.

  7. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am sure all of you that have worked tirelessly with such a beautiful spirit have helped toward healing all that will view it. Magic comes in many forms and this is definitely one of them. The poem speaks volumes and is perfect for the mural. Well done, kudos to all.

  8. Wow, JoAnna! I don’t know how I missed this but I am sure happy I got a chance to see it!! Just a wonderful project…you will never forget working on this…and your art is lovely 🙂 🙂 ❤

    • I’m so glad you got to see this, Lorrie. You might have missed it before because I threw in an extra post on Monday with dinosaur beach. Yes, this mural is something I will never forget. I’ve been asked to sing with Janna, the woman in charge of the project, on a demo of a song about the Forest of Dreams written by her and her daughter. There might even be a children’s book about it. Who knows? Anything is Possible. Thanks for your support!

  9. Pretty amazing, JoAnna. I am always amazed at what people are able to create when they bring their loving hearts to the task! Looks like some great artists participated here! I have to say I love the organic feel, too, that comes from various people making their contributions, how different parts and pieces are unique, but they somehow also work as a whole.

    Peace
    Michael

    • I’m sorry it’s taken a while for me to reply, Michael, but glad you got to see this. Organic is a great description for this mural and how it came together. Organic and magical, but not magical as it “presto,” magical in the process. I love that you understand this.

  10. Pingback: Angel Signs in a Brick (Or Am I Just Seeing Things?) | Anything is Possible!

Feel free to comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s