Imagine When… Winston: An Interactive Public Art Installation

The Dream Machine, an innovative public art collaboration, was created in honor of Winston-Salem’s Centennial (The 100 year anniversary of the towns Salem and Winston merging). The prominent youth arts and writing group, Authoring Action, teamed up with the creative community collective, Imagination Installations, and local artist Wren Wilson to build a piece of art which would reflect on Winston-Salem’s rich history while capturing the youth’s dreams for the city. 

We hope that this installation will inspire our community to imagine new possibilities for our city as we move forward together.

Wren Wilson of Winston-Salem's Imagination Installations Project with youth from Authoring Action at the New Winston Museum near Old Salem in North Carolina, USA.

Wren Wilson, local artist and Imagination Installations volunteer with the youth of Authoring Action standing in front of the art installation at the New Winston Museum.

Art Installation Piece: Imagine When Winston

The Unveiling Party at the New Winston Museum on June 7, 2013 was so much fun! We captured many dreams and dreamers in these photos.

Wren Wilson created videos of the writing process that generated each photographic-word element that was incorporated into the exhibit.  Listen to the teens talk about what they learned about Winston-Salem’s history and what informed their dreams for the future, their “Imagine When… Winston” pieces. Garlena dreams about returning to simpler times when urban green spaces were a part of everyday lives.  ____________________

In this video Tony speaks about why we dream.


Justin speaks about Reynolds High School and the power of arts in education as it informs our city’s history and adds power to our dreams for the future.


Thank you to The Winston-Salem Journal for this wonderful article on The Dream Machine published in the Sunday Arts Section of the newspaper on June 16, 2013.


Imagine When… Winston is an interactive public art installation. It is the result of a collaborative project to honor Winston-Salem’s Centennial (The 100 year anniversary of the towns Salem and Winston merging). 

Each Authoring Action teen author chose an area of history to focus on in their writing, which developed over several weeks and was based on research into the City’s past, including a dynamic visit to The New Winston Museum. The written works were paired with photographs from the past 100 years selected from the DigitalForsyth archival project and photo collections of The Forsyth County Public Library as well as the collection of Old Salem Museums and Garden. Spoken word poetry, blogging and video outreach is also part of the Project.

This Project was made possible through an Innovative Project Grant from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County. The New Winston Museum hosted the Opening Party for the exhibit and will be the home of the interactive, public art piece through the Summer. Imagination Installation(ii) volunteer Alan Shelton helped engineer the physical design of the installation and Taylor Hayes helped build it in collaboration with ii volunteer Wren Wilson who directed the design and youth collaboration.




Imagination Installations is a grassroots project that collects and shares the dreams of people in our community using the statement, “Imagine When…” Interactive Public Art Exhibits, Imagination Events, and Imagination Team Building Workshops are just of a few of the group’s ongoing activities. For more information visit


Authoring Action works with teenagers using the power of creative writing and spoken word to grow new world leaders and foster positive change in our community. For more information visit



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