Take a Wish Wishes:

A good job, A happy home, A healthy body, A loving family, A peaceful soul, A sharp mind, Enough to share, Good friends,Nice neighbors, Patience and courage, Peace everywhere.

I started Take a Wish in the fall of 2007.  At the time I felt like my life was in turmoil as I had spent the past two years dealing with loss and heartache beginning with the death of loved ones, severe illness of others, an uncomfortable career change and finally my own cancer treatment.  When my own little world stopped spinning out of control I was able to realize that our world at large was greatly tilted off its axis.  I began the project as an effort to address the then current emotional turbulence felt across the United States, affecting all social, cultural and economic levels of society.  At the outset of the project the target audience was what appeared to be the vanishing American middle class and the almost invisible, but ubiquitous, undocumented immigrant population.  Come spring of 2008, as the economic crisis deepened and the tensions between the United States at the helm of the Bush administration and the rest of the world increased, I came to believe that the Take a Wish project can touch anyone, anywhere.  Little did I know that all that trouble was small potatoes compared to what was to come.  The great economic crisis of 2009 seems to have leveled the playing field and widened my target audience as everyone from every strata across the globe is in severe emotional turmoil and in a high state of anxiety.

Tokens made of terra cotta clay hung by chains contain a message in English, with the words  “Take a Wish” on the front and one of eleven simple wishes on the back.  These wishes are universal, spanning social, economic and ethnic boundaries.  They may seem basic or things one can take for granted, but without them, life can be very painful.  The acts of giving and taking the wishes are an effort to encourage interaction between people of all ages, economic situations, and cultures, and are meant to bring an element of surprise and joy to everyday life.  Recipients will be able to choose from eleven different wishes.  Those taking the wishes can turn around and give them away to experience the act of giving good will and effecting positive change in their environment.

It is proposed to execute Take a Wish in a public setting where large numbers of diverse people congregate.There is no limit to how many different wishes the recipient can take and no rules as to what one should do with them.  The tokens are ephemeral. Their material is fragile and they might break if not handled carefully. Therefore, each wish is precious and must be treated with care.

Basically Take a Wish is an effort to illustrate that we all are living in tough times and all in the same boat. We all want the same things and hope for the best for each other and ourselves.  By sharing we can form a human bond that will sustain us during this time of uncertainty and upheaval.  In the act of giving and receiving we can see a ray of hope for a brighter future both individually and collectively.

Take a Wish Sites to date:
2008:  Montclair State University, Art and Design Building, Montclair, NJ
2009:  Uncharted Territories, Harvard Printing Company, Orange, NJ
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