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Dragon of Wishes, Hopes & Dreams

Anne MondroGifts of Art leads participatory arts projects for U-M Health System (UMHS) patients and staff. The Dragon of Wishes Hopes & Dreams was a project that united people from all reaches of the health system community in the common goal of expressing their wishes, hopes and dreams for themselves and those for whom they care.

At art making stations in public and staff areas, during all work shifts and in patient rooms, Gifts of Art invited UMHS patients, visitors and staff to draw, color and write on specially cut pieces of paper to express their individual wishes, hopes and dreams for the future. Each uniquely inspired piece of paper – more than 1,700 in all – became a dragon scale.

Dragon of Wishes, Hopes & DreamsArtist Katy Bergman Cassell created the initial dragon design for Gifts of Art, a UMHS Fostering Innovations Grant funded it, and Anne Mondro, Associate Professor in the U-M Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, led the dragon design and fabrication. With the assistance of her students in the course Retaining Identity: The Role of Creative Work Within the Healthcare Setting, they folded and assembled the scales to form the 16 foot long dragon.

Representing courage and vitality, a dragon symbolizes, among other things, strength and new beginnings. The Dragon of Wishes Hopes & Dreams was dedicated to the patients, visitors, faculty and staff of the University of Michigan Health System on July 11, 2006 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the University Hospital at UMHS. It is located in the corridor outside of the University Hospital Main Lobby on Floor 1.

The scales
Patient proudly showing her finished dragon scale.
Wishes, hopes & dreams
Painting hope at UMHS
The skillful hands of our staff making art.
Lots of scales!
Mother and daughter show us their wishes, hopes & dreams.
Staff on 6B show off their scales.
Patient decorating his dragon scale.
No one’s too young to make art!
Docs share their wishes, hopes & dreams.
Mott maintenance making art.

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