The artist behind the first art exhibit for dogs just wanted everyone to have fun.

Museums aren't just for humans anymore.

When Dominic Wilcox was asked to create the first ever interactive art exhibition for dogs, his #1 priority was that it actually be fun for the dogs.

Pet-loving insurance company More Than commissioned the exhibit from Wilcox as part of their #PlayMore campaign, which encourages pet owners to play with their pets on a more regular basis to promote their overall well-being.

Buck jumping into a giant dog-bowl-shaped ball pit at the dog exhibition. Photo via Dominic Wilcox.


"Humans have so many art and design exhibitions to visit nowadays, it seemed only fair that dogs should get to see an exhibition created solely for them," Wilcox wrote in an email.

The exhibition took place on Aug. 19 and 20, 2016, in London and was attended by dogs and their humans of all shapes and sizes.

Studies show that dogs don't just love playtime — they get real mental and physical health benefits from it, too.

A 2014 study conducted at Bristol University involving 4,000 dogs and their owners found that when owners increased the amount of regular play sessions with their dogs, the dogs were less aggressive, less depressed, and had fewer signs of anxiety.

Just like how humans often feel better after doing something active (especially if it's also fun), the same seems to be true for dogs.

For dog owners who don't always have time to provide their furry companions with a variety of activities, Wilcox's interactive museum gave both humans and canines an opportunity to see and do new things.

Like any good art exhibit, Wilcox made sure the dogs had interesting paintings to look at — at their eye level.

Photo via Dominic Wilcox.

Photo via Dominic Wilcox.

When it came to the more interactive exhibits, the dogs could enjoy classic dog things like sticking their heads out the window in the smelly breeze...

Note the shoes in the fan! Photo via Dominic Wilcox.

...and running through a water fountain in the grass...

...and watching a frisbee on TV.

Image via morethan/YouTube.

Wilcox even built a giant dog bowl ball pit, which was a big hit with dogs who like playing fetch (aka most of them).

Photo via Dominic Wilcox.

All in all, the dogs seemed to have a pretty fabulous time.

And their owners had a great time too! (I mean, who wouldn't?)

When humans play with their dogs, we're improving our own lives just as much as the lives of our dogs.

Several studies have shown that dog owners are less stressed, in better shape physically, and even have better relationships with other people and the outside world.

When dogs (and people) are left without stimulation for long periods of time, however, they can suffer negative emotional and physical side effects, just like humans. So even though it's tricky sometimes, it's important for dog owners to make time for playtime.

Of course, not every city is lucky enough to have such a cool interactive exhibition, but dogs and their humans could simulate the experience by exploring a new park or playing with a dog-walking group or taking a drive to a lake or ocean and playing on the beach.

Check out an adorable video of the exhibition here:

Most Shared

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

popular

Gerrymandering is a funny word, isn't it? Did you know that it's actually a mashup of the name "Gerry" and the word "salamander"? Apparently, in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry had a new voting district drawn that seemed to favor his party. On a map, the district looked like a salamander, and a Boston paper published it with the title The GerryMander.

That tidbit of absurdity seems rather tame compared to an entire alphabet made from redrawn voting districts a century later, and yet here we are. God bless America.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Wikipedia

Women in country music are fighting to be heard. Literally. A study found that between 2000 and 2018, the amount of country songs on the radio by women had fallen by 66%. In 2018, just 11.3% of country songs on the radio were by women. The statistics don't exist in a vacuum. There are misogynistic attitudes behind them. Anyone remember the time radio consultant Keith Hill compared country radio stations to a salad, saying male artists are the lettuce and women are "the tomatoes of our salad"...? Air play of female country artists fell from 19% of songs on the radio to 10.4% of songs on the radio in the three years after he said that.

Not everyone thinks that women are tomatoes. This year's CMA Awards celebrated women, and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles saw the opportunity to bring awareness to this issue and "inspire conversation about country music's need to play more women artists on radio and play listings," as Nettles put it on her Instagram. She did it in a uniquely feminine way – by making a fashion statement that also made a statement-statement.

Keep Reading Show less
popular