“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is a reality.”
- John Lennon
When photographer and long-time, Arlington-area entrepreneur Bob Pruitt first laid eyes on the massive sculpture by renowned artists Jeff Schomberg and Laura Kimpton, he was riding a bike across the playa at the 2013 Burning Man festival. The sculpture, a series of gigantic capital letters forged from heavy sheet-metal steel, spelled out the word “believe.” He rode up to the piece, looked up, and marveled at the power of the message.
“It was larger than life,” Pruitt said. “It made such an impression on me that it became my goal to bring Believe to my city.”
When Pruitt returned to Arlington, he visited with city councilwoman Lana Wolff about his idea. “I didn’t know if or how the sculpture might have an impact, but as I shared my ideas with her, I was very encouraged to continue to pursue them,” said Bob.
As Pruitt explored possible locations within the city, two fortuitous events took place. The City of Reno, Nevada bought Believe, and within a week, the City of Arlington launched its new brand, Arlington: The American Dream City.
Pruitt’s vision congealed. Adopting “dream” as the new concept, Bob and the Downtown Arlington Management Corporation teamed up to envision an urban, linear park in downtown just north of the railroad tracks between Mesquite and Center Streets. A Schomberg-Kimpton DREAM sculpture would anchor the park. In November 2014, the DAMC board seeded the project with a pledge of $25,000.
“Downtown is the perfect location for Project DREAM,” said DAMC president and CEO Tony Rutigliano. “It’s proximity to UT Arlington, performing and fine arts venues, residential neighborhoods and our business district reminds us that dreams are as unique as the individuals who pursue them.”
Each letter of DREAM is 12' tall x 4’ deep x 10’ wide and weighs between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds. Cut in perfect rows within each letter are silhouettes of flying birds. By day, the pattern adds texture, movement and depth to the piece. By night, interactive LED lights within each letter and spotlights on the entire sculpture bring the piece to life.
Jeff Schomberg explains. “Visitors will be able to download a free app that allows them to become part of the art. Through the app, they can change the lighting scheme of the sculpture. It’s completely interactive.”
Schomberg and Kimpton will complete the sculpture in time to debut it at Burning Man 2015, which runs from August 30 – September 7. DREAM will then make its way to Arlington. While a permanent location for DREAM has not been finalized, First Baptist Church has agreed in the interim to host the sculpture on its downtown property adjacent to the Levitt Pavilion Founders Plaza. A dedication event is planned for late September.
Donations at all levels are being accepted for Project DREAM. Contributions are tax deductible, and gifts of $5,000 or more will be guaranteed inclusion on the donor wall if received by July 31. Donations can be made electronically through PayPal or by check mailed to Downtown Arlington Management Corporation.
For more information, visit http://www.dreamarlington.org or DreamPark on Facebook.
“Believe opened me to the idea that anything is possible,” reflects Pruitt. “DREAM has allowed me to dream much bigger than I could have imagined.”