Imagined utopias, both past and future, are the focus of the High Desert Museum’s “Imagine a World” exhibition, which runs through September 25. Visitors are inspired to think about their vision of a
idyllic society while exploring past intentional communities from Arizona’s Biosphere 2 to Oregon’s Rajneeshpuram.
Supported by a grant award from the Oregon Cultural Trust, the High Desert Museum opened “Imagine a World” in January. The Cultural Trust’s funding helped spur risk-taking and support behind-the-scenes operations, said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw.
The purpose of the exhibition is to encourage audiences to examine how the intentional communities of the past can inform the communities of the future. Among the many questions that “Imagine a World” asks is how will the communities of tomorrow deal with today’s challenges?
All of the communities on display have a unique connection to the place, Whitelaw explains, because the communities’ followers saw the desert as a “landscape of possibility.”
The High Desert Museum celebrates 40 years of sharing the stories, culture, and art of the High Desert, spanning the Intermountain West. It is located in Bend.
Story by Chloe Mills.