In this day of Facebook, instant search engine results and that ever present life-sucker, the television, one almost forgets what it’s like to use one’s own brain. So many of us are, I fear, running on cognitive auto-pilot, where entertainment is spoon fed to us and information is dropped in our laps.
Gone are the days of imagination and adventure seeking. Even for the kids of our day, the baseball glove is being replaced by the gaming controller, and the tree house is being replaced by the living-room couch.
Fortunately, right here in Utah Valley, there is an escape to reality and cerebral exhilaration, something no amount of electronic stimulus can substitute for. I’m talking about UVU’s very own Woodbury Art Museum, located on the second floor of the University Mall, between The Gap and Nordstrom. The gallery boasts a variety of art that succeeds in intriguing the imagination and setting free the intellect. It was refreshing to let my mind wander off to imaginary worlds and to rediscover various childhood fantasies and elaborate on them, rather than mindlessly wander about a mind-numbing internet page.
Among the Museum’s current exhibits is a selection of Christmas dolls from the McCurdy Doll Museum, home to more than 3,000 dolls. The Christmas dolls are different replicas of Santa Clause as he is understood and viewed in various world cultures, and each doll has a small history and description posted by it, identifying the character of Santa from the early fourth century to the jolly old man that he is known as today.
In the photography section I had a rather peculiar experience — I came across a picture of a lady laboring in a sweat shop; my initial reaction to this photo was one of complacency — “Why is this picture so special?” I moved on to the next photo to find a breathtaking, coniferous-clad mountain enshrouded in clouds and boasting mighty granite faced cliffs. It was here that I experienced a euphoric insight regarding the worth of people, and how this forgotten little sweat shop worker was much mightier than those mountains. I’m not trying to get religious here, I simply want to emphasize the rich mental processes that an art museum can promulgate.
Do yourself and your GPA a favor and visit the Woodbury Art Museum, open Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. It’s an intellectual feast!