A Perfect Marriage of Art and Science
By Julie Hooker

Whether you’re looking for a date night or family fun, Salt Lake City’s Leonardo Museum is just the ticket. The “Leo” showcases events and programs to meet every whim. Guests are encouraged to ask questions, explore, and interact with the exhibits. Art and science—or art in science— make for striking visual displays throughout the Leo’s stunning interior. Through January, the Leo hosts “Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life,” an exhibition from anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens. The exhibit chronicles the human body throughout its life-cycle, using real human specimens preserved by Dr. von Hagens’ invention, “Plastination.”

The Leo’s Bryton Sampson explains, “It isn’t just a place to ‘see,’ it’s a place to ‘do.’ Besides the traveling exhibitions we host, we have our original STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Labs, which all have hands-on elements. Families love these because the kids are having fun and learning in the process.”

Local resident Marjorie Sandstrom agrees. “The Leonardo is always evolving. With different exhibits and events, I can be a lifelong learner there.”

While the Leo has presented top-notch touring exhibits, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, it also offers on-going programs. A popular monthly event is “Leo Libations,” a wine-pairing social. The Leo also hosts a monthly “Drink and Draw” party, at which guests and artists enjoy selected drinks while sketching live models in themed costumes. December’s theme is “Men’s Roller Derby Elves” paired with Epic Beer.

For younger artists and scientists, the Leo offers camps, classes and even birthday parties. The Engineering Lab allows children of all ages to make, create and invent. The Art Lab also encourages creativity and curiosity, as artists work with clay, paint, and repurposed materials. The activities may be simple, but they yield amazing results!

At the Leo’s monthly series “Savory Science,” students learn new cooking techniques based on a theme. Guests sample the dishes and take home tips to recreate them at home.

Sampson adds, “We also feature one of the most unique installations in the world, the ‘Hylozoic Veil,’ an amazing blend of art and science from renowned Canadian architect Philip Beesley. He has displayed his work all over the world, but his only permanent installation in the U.S. is here at the Leonardo. Besides being stunningly-beautiful, the science and philosophy behind it is pretty eye-opening.”

Located right downtown in Salt Lake City, the Leonardo is a destination you won’t want to miss!


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