Art of the Wish


“I wish everyone could find beauty in every living thing.”

“I wish everyone could work on a farm.”

“I wish our most vulnerable were cared for.”

If you had a wish for the world, what would it be? In 2017, two artists spent six months traveling the country, talking to dozens of 80- to 100-plus-year-olds, asking that very question. Marn Jensen and Andy Newcom contacted senior living communities, visited hospices, and connected with caregivers to create artworks embodying each individual’s wish.

“We were very deliberate in finding a diverse crowd,” Jensen said in a recent interview, “making sure we reached people with different ethnicities, religious affiliations, sexual orientation, income levels, political beliefs . . . It was important to us to get lots of different people with different backgrounds.”

Equally important to the artwork is the accompanying extended label “story” behind each wish. “We both have a love for storytelling as well as the visual work, and it was important to give each piece a slice of context to set the stage,” Newcom says.

The works in Art of the Wish are composed of several mediums—from photography to sculpture, textile to encaustic, mixed media to painting—allowing the “wish” to inspire the direction of each piece. The artists are very intentional about the materials used, often incorporating repurposed, found objects that had once been discarded and tossed aside. They scoured thrift malls and flea markets to look for things that were discarded or had “vulnerability” because those characteristics applied to so many of the people they spoke with.

“Breathing new life into these objects is a perfect metaphor for appreciating the potential and beauty in old things,” Jensen explained.

One piece in the exhibit is a joyful, quilt-like collage of correspondence and memorabilia collected from generations of one family. The subject’s wish: “I wish I knew how to honor their lives, their meaning, their importance to me.” While another work incorporates thousands of knots shaped from clothesline, acknowledging the thousands of hours spent on mundane chores—such as washing clothes and hanging laundry—performed by so many women that the artists interviewed.

The artists’ “wish” is to inspire people to have a simple conversation with an older person because “it not only will make their day, it will make your day, too.”

Art of the Wish offers plenty of engaging intergenerational programming opportunities, creative reuse and hands-on “making” workshops, storytelling activities, and much more.

Please note that some works shown in the installation images depict works that will be adapted by the artists for touring due to size and shipping limitations.

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Exhibition Details

  • Content

    Fee Includes:
    Press Kit
    Registrar’s Packet
    Programming Guide
    Gallery Guide
    Text Panels
    Narrative Labels
    Full Insurance
    Installation Instructions
    Custom-Designed and Built Crates

  • Curated By

    ExhibitsUSA, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO

  • Organized By

    ExhibitsUSA, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO

  • Out-of-Region Rental Fee


  • In-Region Rental Fee


  • Duration


  • Shipping

    Van Line

  • Running Feet


  • Square Feet


  • Security


  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    Approx. 7 Crates

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by ExhibitsUSA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.

Tour Schedule

Art of the Wish is touring September 2025 through August 2030. The dates below reflect seven-week exhibition periods. Dates are subject to change; please contact or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.