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Going Beyond: The Beyond Art Lounge


Walking into The Beyond Art Lounge you are transported into a new world filled with talking skeletons, neon lights and an impressive range of psychedelic art. You are no longer in the Ithaca Commons but instead in a different dimension.

The gallery offers visitors an interactive experience of different types of art from a wide variety of artists. This immersive pop-up space is part of “The Beyond Artist’s Collective”. The artists create interactive and illuminated art that is free for the public to view.

“There’s a lot of unusual artists that wanted to come together and show their work and make a combination of this type of work so this just happened spontaneously,” said Amanda Moretti, an employee of the gallery.

The Beyond Art Lounge opened in July by the lead artists Doug Shire and Laurence Clarkberg. The gallery is opened freely to the public and accepts donations, since there is no admission cost. Twenty-seven different artists are featured with pieces involving puppets, sculptures and video games. An interactive sandbox where the elevation map moves with where the sand is placed

An interactive sandbox where the elevation map moves with where the sand is placed

What makes this gallery different from others is the interactive elements that each piece offers. Visitors are encouraged to touch, ride, and play with the art.

“I’ve always wanted to go to something that was interactive because whenever I’m at an art museum I want to touch things and play with it,” said Eliza Worth, a visitor to the gallery.

This is not your traditional art gallery, explained Moretti.

“You can interact with it, you can add something…there’s strings you can pull, there’s things that you can play with…it’s not just looking at it’s more participatory.”

The artists are described by the gallery creators as being “enlightened,” and that has a positive impact on those who visit.

“People are thinking about different levels of consciousness, raising the consciousness and it’s giving up something very uplifting to people, most people feel very happy when they come,” said Moretti.

The gallery has made its impact on the Ithaca community by having pieces featured in events in the past such as Winter Light Festival in December of last year. The Beyond Art Lounge pieces were also featured events outside of Ithaca such as Illumination NYC, a light festival that took place under the Kosciuszko Bridge in Brooklyn. Other pieces, such as the 12-foot-tall unicorn, have been featured in other festivals such as Burning Man, an art festival that has been occurring for 35 years.

Sparky the Unicorn is a 12-foot-tall sculpture that visitors are encouraged to ride

Worth said The Beyond Art Lounge offers members of the Ithaca community a quick and easily accessible view of the world of interactive art.

“People are willing to come in if they are in the commons just to come in here to experience something interactive and it’s not a big thing or a long thing, but it is definitely something you could have fun with for 15 minutes,” Worth said.


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