"Dream Tomorrow Today" at The DoSeum's Tricentennial Exhibit
“Starting this summer, The DoSeum is celebrating San Antonio’s first 300 years by looking ahead to its future! In partnership with the San Antonio Tricentennial Celebration, The DoSeum is dedicating its summer exhibit to the future and the kids who shape it…YOU!
Step into a time machine and step out into the future you imagine! In The DoSeum’s summer exhibit, Dream Tomorrow Today, kids and families are invited to leave the past behind as they slide through time and are transported to a better tomorrow—one that they create themselves. As they travel through the exhibit, kids will be invited to SEE, BE, and DO the future—designing future cities, shaping community values, role playing future careers, and more.” (source)
This exhibit is all about getting kids (and adults too!) to think about the impact we have on our planet and our future; on global, local, and personal levels.
The closer you get to its entrance, the more you start to see exactly what the big spiral art piece around the door is made of: everyday objects that we often throw in the garbage once they have become obsolete. Upon making your way through the entrance, or Time Machine Tunnel, you're met with messages like “Just because you throw it away doesn’t mean it goes away” and “How can we use the objects of the PRESENT for the FUTURE?”, which are accompanied by sculptures and giant murals made entirely of upcycled household items and plastic.
Step around the corner and take in an entire landscape created from plastic, including tiny flowers made of crocheted plastic bags, plastic spoons, ball-point pens, medicine droppers, and more. And of course, you can’t miss the adorable fawn kneeling next to a mirrored watering hole, on a bed of broken plastic pieces and packaging…poignant indeed!
Make your way through a neon green forest of hanging pool noodle “trees” and you come to an augmented reality slide which may remind the older kids-at-heart of video games we used to play where you’d catch the falling objects for points. Only with this slide, you’re catching them with your entire body and the subsequent “explosions” of giant watermelons and “ka-ching” that comes from snagging them is enough to send the kiddos running back to do it again and again.
Once you’ve “slid into the future”, you’ll come upon Sketch Town, a massive full-color display of a city, just waiting to be made complete with vehicles, airplanes, buildings, monsters, and UFO’s that the kids color themselves. The friendly employee will help scan the colorful creations into the computer and then voila!, your work of art is now part of a bustling, interactive city-scape.
Next, you’re invited to “SEE your future city” and take part in building it yourself with an augmented reality table full of tiles. Each tile provides your city with all the necessary components such as “buildings, places, and services like hospitals, schools, and more” (source).
You can also read about how public art and culture, community, education, nature, health, and transportation all play critical roles in determining the values of a city. Then walk right over to the voting machines, hand-crank those wheels (with satisfying voter machine sounds to please the little ones), and cast your vote for the values that are most important to you! You’ll receive one colorful cylinder peg for each vote which you place into a giant light-bright-inspired mural to create the art piece that represents your city and its values. See that neon skyline above the mural? Looks familiar, right?
After you’ve created your city, kids are given the opportunity to select interests in the Job Generator and receive a suggested career field. Then, they grab all the dress-up clothes, try them out in front of a green screen, and have fun pretending to BE that person in the future.
And finally, you’re invited to DO for the future through exploration of the Design Lab and Workshops. This is where design challenges are presented, and kids are inspired to “transform everyday objects into solutions for a better future” (source).
What I enjoyed most about “Dream Tomorrow Today” (besides the amazing colors, lighting effects, and sheer beauty of the displays) is that it’s full of fun and interactive activities that even the youngest museum-goers can enjoy, but for older kids there’s also a real opportunity to discuss what the activities mean and symbolize. It’s an open door for discussion about how we, as individuals, can (and will) impact our collective future.
DoSeum artists-in-residence Calder Kamin and Gregorio Mannino are the creative minds (and hands!) of the Time Machine Tunnel and Design Lab & Workshop portions of the exhibit, and you can see it for yourself now through January 6th. Keep in mind that “Dream Tomorrow Today” is just ONE OF EIGHT rotating exhibits housed at the DoSeum, so there’s plenty to see and do for a full day of fun. And whatever you do, do not skip the macarons at the in-house satellite location of Bakery Lorraine while you're there!
NOTE: This post was written in partnership with the DoSeum.