Building a Dream: Recycled Art From Old Lottery Tickets

Don’t we all have big dreams when we buy a lottery ticket? Even if we don’t truly believe it will be the big winner that will change our lives, we hold out some amount of hope that we’ll get lucky. But after the drawing, when the tickets turn out to be nothing more than useless slips of paper, our hopes and dreams cease to be pinned to them in any way. They become little more than garbage, mindlessly tossed into the trash can. A duo of graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design is taking those discarded dreams and turning them into life-size pieces of recycled art.

The team is called Ghost of a Dream, and that’s exactly what they depict in their found object sculptures. They use old lottery tickets and romance novel covers to create some truly beautiful art objects that give new perspective to the permanence of the lottery tickets themselves and the impermanence of the hope they represent.

From a small remote-control boat to a huge mock Hummer, the team creates a variety of compelling objects. Their body of work includes “Dream Home,” which features a pretend home made of $70,000 worth of lottery tickets, “Dream Car,” made of $39,000 worth of discarded tickets, and “Dream Vacation,” built from $29,000 of the little paper slips.

When we buy a lottery ticket, we often imagine what we’ll buy with the potential winnings. The team behind Ghost of a Dream, Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was, make those dreams a surreality by using the tickets themselves to actually construct the things we dream of.