Dream With Your Eyes Open at New ‘Dreamscapes’ Location


Luke Jackson

Dreamscapes Rainbow wall. (Photo by Luke Jackson | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Luke Jackson


“Dreamscapes,” a popular immersive art experience, reopened its doors in a bigger location this February. Still located in The Gateway in downtown Salt Lake City, this new location expands and improves upon the unique charm of the original installation.

Every inch of “Dreamscapes” is covered with interactive art which prompts the patron to feel and explore. The exhibit was intricately and carefully put together by over 100 Utah artists working with completely reclaimed material. Each item seen has been carefully and lovingly placed to create an experience that truly feels like a dream world.

I frequented the original “Dreamscapes” location often. I referenced it as a must-see when family and friends were in Salt Lake. I’m happy to say that their new location surpasses the original and remains one of my favorite Salt Lake attractions.

Stepping into “Dreamscapes” is stepping into another world — a bright, ethereal world where troubles and worries melt away. The gallery’s purpose is to make one feel like they are dreaming with their eyes open and it succeeds wonderfully. Twisting and turning, “Dreamscapes” weaves a surreal and subconscious labyrinth that is incredibly fun to be lost in. From elfish scenes of green to rich ocean blues, each rounded corner evokes a new emotion and drives us deeper into the dream.

A Hidden Narrative

One thing I felt the new location adds is a linear narrative, which creates a feeling of purpose. While the original location was an impressive compilation of art, there were not necessarily any elements tying the rooms together. In the new “Dreamscapes,” we follow a story of a man searching for his lover, who has become lost in a world of dreams.

Each room contains a hidden moon that accompanies hidden text or audio. Immediately upon entry, my eyes would quickly dart around in search of the moon. A simple, yet beautiful story of love, loss and acceptance was told from room to room. Although this story was subtle, it added an immersive element that allowed for the love put into this exhibit to shine through.

Leave Your Mark

Another one of my favorite parts of “Dreamscapes” was its desire for each person who walks through its doors to leave their mark on the exhibit. One of the largest sections of the gallery is called “The Roots Network,” complete with winged frogs and owls prompting us to wonder “who are you?”

The Roots Network has thousands of messages from past dream-dwellers. Hanging from streamers, branches, and mouths of dragons, tiny messages written on recycled cardboard fill the area. Some confess love or admiration, others hold phone numbers and beg you to call, but my favorites were positive affirmations reminding me to relax and breathe.

Pens and a piece of cardboard can easily be found by any visitor who wishes to leave a note. My wonderful wife took up a pen and poetically gave the advice “Don’t hold your farts on a date. If they can’t handle it, they can’t handle you.” We placed this note in a spot we would always remember, and I hope many are impacted by its words.

Whether you’re on a first or fiftieth date, looking for somewhere to go with your family and friends, or just looking to round out your Instagram, “Dreamscapes” is the place to be. Tickets can be purchased on their website at a discount for University of Utah students. So, grab your UCard and escape into a world of dreams.


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