Utah Arts Alliance Delights and Brings Back Childhood Wonder with ‘dreamscapes’

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Utah Arts Alliance Delights and Brings Back Childhood Wonder with ‘dreamscapes’

(Photo by Kate Button | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Photo by Kate Button | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Photo by Kate Button | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Photo by Kate Button | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Kate Button

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If you’re unfamiliar with “dreamscapes,” you might think it’s a typical art installation or Instagram museum (ie. Hall of Breakfast). While both of these descriptors are accurate at various points through the exhibit, “dreamscapes” goes above and beyond what you might expect. This exhibit combines interactive art, upcycled materials and photogenic scenery. The space provides a fully immersive art attraction that is suitable for all ages. 

This environmentally sustainable — at least 90% of the materials have been recycled — installation challenges what attendees might think of a typical museum. You’re actively encouraged to take photos, touch and submerge yourself in the art. Visitors are also able to leave their own mark on the space at several junctures.

(Photo by Kate Button | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Walking into “dreamscapes,” you’re immediately invited to interact with the artwork present. A large sequin wall greets guests who can then draw and move the sequins to reveal new colors. After a short escape room-style space, visitors are next transported to a new world within the realm of “dreamscapes.”

Each room or space within the installation features different themes which play into different elements of childlike curiosity. Participants walk through magical forests, explore under the sea treasures and fly above the clouds to ball pits, playground equipment, a hall of mirrors and sticker-covered walls. The installation’s vignettes inspire curiosity, exploration and wandering through these interactive rooms that are truly fun for people of all ages. Additionally, “dreamscapes” is entirely wheelchair-accessible, so all visitors can enjoy the exhibit. 

(Photo by Kate Button | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

The rooms within “dreamscapes” call upon the surreal, the psychedelic, the enchanted and of course, the world of our dreams. Even though there are playground elements in the exhibit, all guests are encouraged to forget about their stresses and play as if they are children again. 

“dreamscapes” was organized by the Utah Arts Alliance, a local organization whose mission is “to foster the arts in all forms in order to create an aware, empowered and connected community.” By calling upon local artists and community members to collaborate, “dreamscapes” has created a space where visitors can re-discover the magical wonders of the world, while also leaving their creative marks within the installation.  

After just an hour inside the various rooms of “dreamscapes,” I felt rejuvenated, inspired and curious about the world around me. I’d already visited the exhibit in the spring before attending this time around, but it was an incredible experience yet again to see how the exhibit has adapted over the course of the summer. Even with some expectations about what I would see for the second time, my visit to “dreamscapes” still felt new and it was an incredibly fun, ethereal and magical experience. 

(Photo by Kaitlyn Jensen)

One of my favorite moments from “dreamscapes” was exploring the under-the-sea room. We walked through jellyfish tentacles while being encapsulated by purple and blue lights and sounds of laughter played all around us. At first, the laugh track was a little off-putting, but eventually, I got used to it and I appreciated how it encouraged my friends and I to take the time to enjoy ourselves as we made our way through the space. 

As busy college students and adults, we often forget to let go of our stresses and have fun every once in a while. Yet wandering through “dreamscapes” and marveling at the wondrous artwork helped me realize just how important it is to escape our everyday life and spend some time in dreamland. 

Currently, “dreamscapes” is running every Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and tickets are just $15 apiece.

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@kateannebutton