Newport News
Virginia, USA

The pristine campus of Christopher Newport University got a little more colorful thanks to a class of art students who built a great big portable plywood box as a communal canvas. A few hours before Candy Chang gave a talk on campus, they shook up spray paint cans and stenciled together while she asked them about their school. They were so sincere and close with one another, she could see the impact of a small class size, a passionate teacher, and a group of people who are ready to grow. The students wheeled the structure into Trible Plaza and it filled up with hopes in a matter of minutes. In the mashup were desires to “have an honest conversation with my mom,” “fly a helicopter to Aruba,” “find someone to love,” “perform with a symphony,” and “overcome depression.” And sometimes hopes came together. Someone wrote, “Before I die I want to meet a real man.” Someone else wrote below, “Hi, I’m Alex.”

I want to have an honest conversation with my mom.

I want to let my walls come down.

I want to overcome depression.

I want to inspire others when they need it the most.

I want to know what it means to be at peace.

Built by Christopher Newport University students

October 2012

Made with love by Melissa Williamson, Ryan Gunderlach, Inhye Honh, Whitney Walton, Karin Dyer, Matthew Rutherford, Michelle Breland, Nicholas Denson, Diane Edwards, Sarah Wister, Kristin Skees, Alan Skees, Jillian Martin, Kristina Kassem, and Candy Chang. Co-sponsored by Christopher Newport University’s Office of Student Activities, the Department of Fine Arts, CHECS, the Multicultural Student Association, Kappa Pi, and Sharing Awareness for Intercultural Living (SAIL).