In a world where everyone vies for Insta-worthy posts to inspire follower FOMO — fear of missing out — the art scene has adapted. Long gone are the days of mulling over Rodin’s pieces with an audio guide to the ear. A new generation of museums is all about bringing fantasy to the real world and then delivering it to the screen in a beautiful, #aesthetic, post.
Steffi Lynn Tsai embraced this new era of art in her immersive art exhibition, the Museum of Memories in Old East Dallas. The New York artist and Texas native opened her brightly colored doors Friday, revealing the fruits of her two-month labor.
Tsai operates an Etsy shop called haveanicedayy, whose tag line is “keep it colorful, keep it fun.” The store is filled with candy colors and messages of inspiration. The store page shows mugs and pillows covered with doodles of cherries and flowers and cacti earrings in soft gold and green. The store feels like something straight out of my middle-school journal, and it is beautiful.
The exhibit is Tsai’s first major installation, and her aesthetic remains the same as her online store. Cute messages and vintage vibes fill the large walls. The building was a former nightclub, but the 5,000-square-foot space has been given a beautiful and bright makeover. It feels entirely childlike, and that is surely the point. It’s a magical environment where a 13-year-old girl’s bedroom has a 5-foot-tall diary, complete with a pretty-in-pink fuzzy pen. The space brings guests back to a time of journal entries about boys, glitter pens and bubble gum lip gloss.
The Museum of Memories encourages audience participation, and visitors are invited to crawl into ball pits and pose for selfies against the colorful and well-lit backdrops.
The exhibition has signed a two-year lease, although the murals are set to change in August or September. Tickets are good for one hour inside the Museum of Memories, and they cost $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 4 to 12. Kids 3 and under are free.
The space is sure to bring you back to your 13-year-old self, at least for an afternoon.
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