At 3 stories high, unusual exhibit takes center stage at The Leonardo

Published: Friday, Sept. 9 2011 7:34 p.m. MDT

Is it a museum? "I guess that's the closest word," Davis said, "although I don't think people should expect to have a traditional museum experience here. We really are focusing on processes and experiences, helping visitors using tools from science, technology and art to help people explore creativity, curiosity, innovation in themselves and in other people."

Beesley's central artwork is intended to be a permanent feature of The Leonardo. It was previously exhibited in Asia and Europe but until now, had not been displayed in the United States. It has a half-million separate parts, many of which interact with electronic sensors and tiny computers. The $750,000 price-tag for "Hydrozoic Ground" was covered by a grant to The Leonardo from the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency.

Davis brushed off the suggestion that preparations for The Leonardo stretching over several years have been too slow. "Something this new takes some time to really evolve," Davis said.

Even now, a month before its official opening, The Leonardo is mostly empty space. But in the next couple of weeks that will change.

"All the exhibits are built," Davis said, "and we are just moving them in a piece at a time. We are absolutely going to be opening on (Oct. 8). There's no question about that."


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