The Fine Arts Center at Colorado College is opening a new diorama-based exhibit where you can apply to become a citizen of Utopia and have a miniature version of yourself added to the art piece.

This Utopia exists as a four-by-seven-foot diorama-based installation and a conceptual art piece. And you can apply to become a part of the art exhibit, literally.

So, how does it work?

First, you can apply to be a citizen of Utopia here. Once accepted, you’ll receive an introductory email, welcoming you to the community. From there, artist and Utopia Founder and Facilitator Becky Wareing Steele renders each applicant in 1:160 scale in a process called miniaturization. Each citizen is then placed in their own Earthship dwelling. So, you'll essentially become a part of the diorama!

Why Earthships? "Utopia embraces the constructs of sustainable living practices and minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels," says Steele.

From there, you'll be able to put your own input on community-based decisions even if you're not able to visit the exhibit itself. You will still receive photos so you can see the progress the art installation goes through. 


Courtesy of Becky Wareing Steele

The idea was born from her own inspiration to build and create communities. So far, over 80 people around the world have applied and been accepted as Utopia citizens. The virtual reality exhibit is a thought experiment that dives into several questions, like how do we build community? What are the building blocks of a successful society? Is a Utopia attainable?

“This is an experiment in both artistic practice as well as civics and communal living. The modern world and its push for a virtual reality to escape everyday life is working against our instinctive need as humans for community. This project aims to give people an escape from reality while still connecting with people in real life situations,” Steele says.


Courtesy of Becky Wareing Steele

This isn’t Steele’s first rodeo either. She specializes in small structure art and lives and works in Denver, Colorado. In her scaled-down work, the viewer is able to take in every single detail and think about the impact of the perception of the world around us.

Utopia is free to the public, but you’ll still need to pay admission to see the rest of the museum. Admission is $10; $5 seniors/military; FREE for members/students and teachers with ID.

It starts on August 3 and will be on display through November 3 at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College – 30 W. Dale St.

And if your curiosity has peaked, you can also meet and ask the artist questions yourself at the Artist Talk. Steele will be speaking on her role as the Facilitator and Founder of Utopia on September 27, 2019, at 5:30 p.m.

What do you think? Would you want to become part of this miniature Utopia? Any other cool art exhibits happening in your area? Sound off in the comments below.