Wren Wilson is an entrepreneur, artist, designer, master gardener, and pet professional whose passion, talent and commitment to community centers her work and inspires those around her, like me. It was a pleasure to talk with her one evening this Fall and learn more about her connection and inspiration to the community that surrounds her in Winston, Salem, NC.
I believe in actively trying to be a part of the community and am philosophically connected to intentionally and mindfully making a positive difference in the world. Through opportunities like my work with Imagination Installations, the Master Gardeners program, and canine rescue organizations, I feel that I am able to improve things.
My artwork as well as my volunteerism forms a symbiotic relationship with the place that I live. Symbiosis is the scientific term for “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Few things feel better than the notion that you might be improving lives through your actions.
My entire livelihood is connected to work in the community. Through word of mouth largely derived from volunteer activities, I continue to be successful in my goals and gain new clients and projects.
That is not to say I go out expecting people will do things for me. There’s a difference between pure-self interest and synergy/symbiosis. It’s all about mutual benefit.
Imagination Installations’ mission is to have people connect to their dreams, to each other, and help people move towards making those dreams a reality. We do this through public art installations, creative activities, and concretely inviting them to share their dreams within our installations. Some of our pieces are as simple as a wall filled with rectangular sheets of paper asking the audience to “Imagine When” their dreams come true and the wall becomes filled with their individual hopes for the future. Others are more elaborate or guerilla-inspired, like a “Dream Journal” that we’ve been leaving in a special mosaic vessel in public places or the current project we’re working on leaving giant doors around town and painting them with chalk-board paint and inviting people to write on them. We even have a billboard spot that shares people’s dreams now!
These days I’m still following the idea that inspired my senior thesis in college that just by existing you are changing the world in one way or another and it’s better to intentionally have a positive impact!
The installation “Imagine When… Winston” just left the New Winston Museum to make way for a new exhibit (which Wren Wilson designed the panels for!), and Imagination Installations is searching around for another venue to show “Imagine When… Winston”.
Links are below:
- Here is a link to Wren Wilson’s website.
- Here is the link to Imagination Installations’ website.
- Here is the link to Imagination Installations’ lead volunteer Dr. Cyndi Briggs’ TedX talk.
- Here is the link to an article which ran in the paper on the installation “Imagine When… Winston”- it also includes a video interview from Wren Wilson.
- Here is a ton of Facebook photos of the installation “Imagine When… Winston” and the opening of the show.
- Here is a longer article from Imagination Installations which includes information about the project, including the second section from the bottom which Wren Wilson wrote for the signage that went with the installation. The blog post also includes some linked videos of the kids who wrote the pieces talking about their motivations with the project.
- BONUS: here is Wren Wilson’s podcast with Dr. Briggs in which she discusses her financial philosophy as a young creative doing what she loves.