In the heart of downtown Philly, hardly a five-minute walk from Reading Terminal Market, LA-based art collective Wonderspaces has opened an immersive art facility. Boasting more than 24,000 square feet of space, the new museum features interactive and thought-provoking art projects by creators from around the globe. The exhibits are friendly for all ages, arranged with the purpose of “create shared understanding through shared experiences,” according to their national website.
Its arrival is an exciting addition to the Philly art scene. The company was founded in 2016 with the mission of creating shared experiences for all visitors in partnership with local artists. In doing so, Wonderspaces’ website claims all exhibit contributors are guaranteed full credits and are paid fairly, something that is unfortunately seldom offered by art collectives.
Wonderspaces is unafraid to be on the cutting edge and commonly incorporates virtual reality into its installations. Its constantly evolving spaces have already made the museum remarkably popular with younger crowds, particularly students. Villanova student Gaby Palmisano visited Wonderspaces with friends over the weekend, saying “the VR installations took from 9-12 minutes each, although I think it was worth it. I thought it was all very fun and interactive, and it had a lot to do with visual effects. It was cool – this is definitely where more art museums are shifting to, being more of an interactive and technological experience.” Palmisano added that the most notable installation was called ‘Dinner Party’ where visitors sit around a dining room wearing VR headsets. In trying to describe it, she claims the exhibit fell somewhere between a movie and a dream, ultimately deciding it is too hard to describe and must be experienced to be fully understood.
The museum is constantly evolving as it finds new artists and exhibits to feature. The facility itself has understandably also garnered plenty of attention via social media. As Wonderspaces Philly continues to grow its network throughout the area, it will ideally continue to help progress the more creative side of Philly and inspire community through shared experiences.