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Public art project elicits the profound, profane

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- It is public art made of private wishes.

In a phenomenon spreading across the globe, oversize blackboards, painted on buildings and freestanding displays, invite passers-by to complete the sentence: "Before I die I want to..."

Answers are written on stenciled lines with pieces of sidewalk chalk.

Since artist Candy Chang created the first wall on an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighborhood in 2011, more than 400 walls have gone up in the United States and more than 60 other countries.

Chang says a universal theme is personal well-being. She cites repeat entries like: "have no regrets," "forgive and be forgiven" and "heal."

A hardcover book, "Before I Die," released earlier this month captures some of the answers, which are otherwise erased to make room for more.