What is the Dreamscape Project?
The Dreamscape Project is a non-profit international collaborative art project for seriously ill &/or disabled youth, founded by NZ artist & art educator Vivien Masters.
Hi, I'm Vivien Masters, an artist and art educator from Auckland, New Zealand. I have a background in working with seriously ill and disabled children, and in 2012 I want to do something special for them and the charities that support them!
I want to create five huge paintings for five charitable children’s healthcare organisations in Auckland and New York, auction them off, and give 100% of the proceeds to the charities.
Never being one to shy away from a challenge, I wanted to find a unique way to involve the young people from these organisations in the creation of the artworks...But that’s tricky- some can’t leave their hospital beds, some are off receiving treatment, and they all have amazingly varied schedules due to their unique circumstances. Enter the Dreamscape Project! It’s part collaborative art project, part mad art-experiment and part fundraising opportunity!
I want to see what happens when the ‘artist’ no longer has control over the content of their work. For this project I’m handing over creative control to the children and teenagers; I will only paint what they tell me to. What will they ask me to paint? Will it be naughty? Will it be nice? I have no idea! That scares me. But it also excites me. I’ll be working in black and white, and when I’m done the children will be in charge of colouring the work. What on earth will these artworks look like upon completion?! I have no idea, but I’m inviting you along to find out!
Why should I support this project?
Because art is awesome, and these brave young people deserve access to quality arts experiences regardless of their unique and challenging circumstances! Also, the organisations that support them and their families do an amazing job, but rely on donations from people like you to operate.
The young people invited to participate in this project are living with serious illnesses or disabilities, and are often receiving long-term treatment that removes them from the engaging and stimulating environment of school and everyday life. Participation in projects such as this one is vital for their mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. It’s also going to be a whole lot of fun!
In return I’m inviting you to participate, and to bask in the glory of the sweet arty rewards on offer! Rewards range from hand written thank you postcards with doodles, to signed art prints, to original works of art! Woo-hoo!
Need more convincing? Check out testimonials for this project from children’s healthcare and arts professionals at the bottom of this page.
What will the money go towards?
I need your help so I can afford to make this project happen. I am donating my time and energy, and 100% of the proceeds raised from the sale of the completed artworks. This means the only financial support I am getting for this project is from YOU! Which makes you pretty awesome ;)
The money raised will help me to afford the cost of art materials. Most importantly, your contribution will allow me to invest the significant amount of time needed to make this project a success. Each painting for the Dreamscape Project, from preliminary sketches to finished product will take around 40 hours to complete. I can’t do this without your help.
When and where will this project take place?
In April and May 2012 I will be working with two children’s healthcare organisations in Auckland, NZ:
CanTeen- The New Zealand Organisation Supporting Young People Living With Cancer Inc. Registered NZ charity # CC11087
Ronald McDonald House Charities- Registered NZ charity #CC23403
In June and July 2012 I will be working with three children’s healthcare organisations in New York. These collaborations will be facilitated through:
ArtWorks- The Naomi Cohain Foundation, A non-profit organisation that works with over 30 child healthcare facilities in New York and New Jersey, to give children with chronic and life threatening illnesses and their siblings access to arts programming.
I will work with each organisation separately, gathering the ideas from every child who wants to participate and transforming them into a huge, crazy artwork. The work will be produced in black and white, and then handed over for the children to colour. Each organisation will auction off the finished artwork and will receive 100% of the proceeds.
Testimonials for the Dreamscape Project:
“From my experience working closely with sick children, I am aware of the challenges they face whilst being an in-patient. Play Specialists play an extremely important role with these challenges by helping children to relax, manage their anxieties, communicate their feelings and also help their motor and cognitive development. Art is one of the important mediums that our Play Specialists commonly use everyday with children for these purposes.
I have known Vivien for 3 years. She has a very positive, open and caring personality. Her exquisite artistic skills have always impressed me. She is also very hard working and motivated. With all these positive attributes I have no doubt she is fully capable of carrying out this project.
I am very excited about this project. It will not only be very therapeutic for the children involved, but will also enable them to contribute something greater towards their community and the art world. I therefore fully support this project and hope that others reading this letter will too.”
-Dr Alexander Wilson, BSc MB BChir (Cantab) DCH, Paediatric Registrar
“ArtWorks has witnessed the profound impact the arts have on patients, their families and hospital staff. It encourages children to use the creative process as a vehicle for healing, communication, self-expression and personal development and provides them with an avenue to feel proud and uplifted; it encourages interaction between patients and hospital staff in a forum that focuses on patients’ unique individual creativity rather than their illness.”
- Katherine Kelly, Administrative Coordinator, ArtWorks Foundation, NY
“I am writing in support of and to recommend Vivien Masters in my capacity as an arts educator and her colleague within the learning programmes team at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Through her work in community programmes, Vivien has demonstrated an ability to create inclusive and creative learning environments for participants. Vivien’s own artistic practice informs her educational work and enriches her ability to unpack the creative process for others.
Her ability to organise, plan and deliver effective arts education programming prepares her to undertake a project such as the Dreamscape Project. I know Vivien will strive to deliver a high quality experience for participants and stakeholders in the project.”
- Meg Niccol, Community Learning Coordinator, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki
“I am writing to offer my support for the Dreamscape project that Vivien has initiated, offering young people living with illnesses and disabilities the opportunity to engage in the visual arts.
I have worked with Vivien since August 2011 at the Auckland Art Gallery, where I am the Studio Tutor for the children and community group studio programmes. I am also the Family Art Programme art tutor at the Ronald McDonald House Auckland. In the short time that I have worked with Vivien I have witnessed the energetic and empathetic way she works with people of all ages. Her commitment to working with people going through extraordinary situations is truthful and sincere.
Her project to involve the children in contributing to an artwork is an idea that I think the children will really enjoy. They all relish the art classes I run twice a week at the House and so I am confident that they will be keen on another opportunity to be creative.”
- Andrea Gaskin, Family Art Tutor at the Ronald McDonald House Auckland + Studio Tutor at the Auckland Art Gallery