Students may have been wondering why there are tags hanging on trees. Suzanna Scott, professor of New Century College’s Art, Beauty, and Culture course, and Lynne Constantine, professor of The School of Art’s Aesthetics course, decided to bring the Wish Tree Project to the George Mason campus as part of their curriculum.
For those who don’t know, Yoko Ono originally started The Wish Tree Project in 1996. Scott says, “People participate in the work by writing their personal wishes for peace on white shipping tags and tying the wishes to a tree branch.” This project was started on the George Mason Campus on October 1st and will end on October 18th.
When asked why the project would end, Constantine replied, “In a way, the very fleetingness of the tree’s presence here is important. Any longer, and it would simply become part of the landscape. This way, both its appearance and its disappearance are events, opportunities for paying attention.”
Once the wishes are taken down on the 18th, they will be shipped to Reykjavik, Iceland where Yoko Ono is collecting all the wishes and building a memorial for her late husband, John Lennon.
Both Constantine and Scott were eager to bring this project on campus in order to inspire their students to work together in order to learn more about the origin of this project.
Scotts says, “They are learning what it is like to be part of something larger than themselves and their individual projects. Their goal is not only to inspire their own students, but also to inspire the George Mason student body.”
Constantine says, “Several times when I’ve passed the tree, I’ve seen students and other passers-by who are not in Suzanne’s or my classes reading the tags or taking pictures of the tree with their phones. If the idea of a network of people wishing for peace comes into their consciousness for even that brief minute, I feel satisfied with that.”
The Wish Tree Project is a national and international symbol of the future. It collects people’s wishes and hopes for a better world. By bringing this project to our school, both Scott and Constantine are allowing their students to be part of a project that connects them with people all over the world. Their wishes will be put in a memorial with the wishes of people from all different walks of life. Scotts says that one of the most valuable parts of this project is that it can be replicated.
She says, “So perhaps we may see more Wish Trees appear on campus in the future.”