Forest of Dreams
THERE IS AN ENCHANTED FOREST by the Cape
Fear River, filled with imaginative creatures; dragons,
flying lions, and surfing dogs. It’s located on the corner
of North 10th and Fanning, at DREAMS of Wilming-ton.
“Forest of DREAMS” is the largest mural in the
Port City, with an even bigger story.
DREAMS of Wilmington is an organization established in 1996
to provide free art education to youth in need. Its programs bring
music, theater, poetry, dance, and visual art to the community, but
the large and boring gray walls lacked the same vibrancy taking place
inside the building. The surrounding area was unkempt and filled
with trash. At night it had become a meetup for gangs.
If things were going to change, it would require the help of the
entire neighborhood. And that’s exactly what happened.
Dr. Janna Robertson, professor at the University of North Carolina
Wilmington, spearheaded creation of the Forest of DREAMS mural at
the DREAMS of Wilmington site, located at North 10th and Fanning
streets. Her artistic contributions to the project include the concrete
statue Wally Gator. Above: Volunteers in March 2016 paint the forest
environment that would become home to 76 unique creatures.
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MURAL DETAIL PHOTOS BY ALLISON POTTER