Roy Wasson Valle and Koryn Woodward Wasson have been busying creating an alternate universe inside the Scottsdale Public Library this month. Thursday, May 15, marks the official opening of "Camp Dreamtree," an interactive art piece, which the duo describes as "an art installation in the shape of a camp."
The husband and wife artist super team has worked together before, most notably on a sculptural exhibition in 2010 called "Village", but this is the first project that has felt like a true collaboration, says Wasson. Both artists hold bachelor's of fine arts from ASU; Valle studied sculpture and Wasson focused on art education, but "Camp Dreamtree" encompasses all different kinds of media.
The initial inspiration for the project came from a repeated motif in Valle's drawings, which the artist calls "dreamhouses." The artists took the image of these living house creatures and merged it with the idea of an interactive summer camp to bring "Camp Dreamtree" to life.
The installation is set up with four dreamhouses that correspond to the cardinal directions. In each house, there are two lanes of achievement: the chronicle trail and the adventurer trail. Visitors complete activities in each house to earn achievements, and are ultimately eligible for the coveted dream weaver badge.
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"We were drawn to the idea that, in the library setting, you would get to experience something that is a narrative," says Wasson. And Scottsdale Public Art, who sponsors the yearly install in the library, has plenty of events scattered throughout the summer to further this narrative.
Part of SPA's requirement for the piece was that it had to be kid-friendly. Wasson and Valle have a daughter, who turns 2 in July, so they were already primed for creating an artwork about the magic of childhood. But "Camp Dreamtree" isn't just for kids; "we are all reaching for the time around the fire" says Wasson.
Camp Dreamtree will be open at the Scottsdale Public Library until July 31. The opening reception will take place Thursday, May 15, from 4 to 7 p.m.. For more more information, visit the Facebook event page or scottsdalepublicart.org.