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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Girl turns nerve disease into an inspirational message

Photo Courtesy: The Community of Awesome

A visitor to the Student Activities Center Gallery would find a community built with inspiration and a positive perspective on life.

The Dinosaur Onesie Project, created by 24-year-old studio art major Arianna Warner, has held an exhibition at the SAC Gallery.

Warner said that she thinks that every person has the power to inspire others.

“I’m asking you to believe in yourself and know that you can inspire people as well,” she said in an artist talk on Wednesday night.

To keep her project going, she seeks motivation from many people.

The project was to build a community with happiness and personal interaction. Warner hid 100 three inch dinosaur figurines on campus with a tag asking people to post a picture of the figure taken in other places on her Tumblr. Through the small dinosaurs, people could find happiness in an unexpected place and from an unexpected source. She said that by posing pictures on Tumblr, people could then interact with others, creating a community.

Sixty-three photographs taken by others in many places, including Germany, Israel, Chile, Belize and Vietnam, as well as the Stony Brook University campus, are displayed in this exhibit.

Jeremy Dennis, a senior studio art major, said that he loved those pictures because it showed how extensive the project was.

Placing the figures around campus was an effort to share Warner’s idea of looking at life with a positive perspective, which had a huge effect on her life.

The Dinosaur Onesie Project was inspired by Warner’s overcoming her nerve disorder, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. In 2011, she was hospitalized due to the nerve disorder. Warner wandered the hospital in a dinosaur onesie she ordered on the Internet. When she appeared in the outfit, it made people in the hospital laugh. One day, two girls who were hospitalized smiled upon seeing Warner in the onesie. She felt that these were their first smiles in a long time.

“From then on, I was like this is something that can really be a lot more than just a dinosaur onesie,” Warner said.

“It’s just a simple way of getting someone to get a smile on their face.”

T-shirts were also another way to express “unsuspected happiness.”

In this exhibition, Warner held a silk screening event and gave out T-shirts to incorporate more people into the project.

“Tumblr built a foundation for a community digitally, silk screening is incorporating face-face personal interaction between me and participants in the project,” Warner said.

She silk screened the image and the text that read “I was extinct once before…You will not be death of me” on the shirt. Warner said that it is a reminder to her to stay positive.

In the exhibition, there were 12 pictures of the figures taken by Warner during her trip to the West Coast this past summer to expand the project beyond SBU. Her trip included stops in cities such as San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara.

“It’s a beautiful thing that she is trying to do,” Sabrina Cacciatore, a senior art major, said. “It reminded a lot of people being brought together just something that should be a part of everyday life.”

The exhibition will last until Dec. 5.

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