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A public art project elicits the profound, profane


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"... grow a moustache."

"... get clean."

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Nyquis Turner, 16, stopped to write, "play in the NFL."

"Find a cure for cancer. Be famous," Lynn Morehouse read from one of two boards that went up last month in Providence, R.I. "Some of them are funny. Some of them are a little off the wall. ... I like it."

"... find alien life."

"... tell my dad I’m gay."

Chang said a universal theme is personal well-being, citing repeat entries like: "come to terms with who I am," ‘’have no regrets," ‘’forgive and be forgiven," ‘’heal."

A hardcover book, "Before I Die," released earlier this month by St. Martin’s Press, permanently captures some of the answers, which are often otherwise erased to make room for more.

"Some walls reflect the current politics of the region," Chang said. "But for the most part, the walls have shown just how universal our hopes are.

"We want to love and be loved," she said. "We want to see the world. We want to help others. We want to understand who we really are."


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Associated Press writer Michelle Smith in Providence, R.I., contributed to this report.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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