Monday, September 18, 2017

Project complete! For now

-from Anne C. Morgan

It's hard to believe it's nearly the end of September already.  A month ago I began an intense digitization project with the goal of scanning all photographs in the Harry Casey Collection that connected to geoglyphs.  In a collection of more than 8,000 individual images, I knew the bulk of them pertained to geoglyphs, but what did that mean? All 8,000? 7,000?

30 days, 230.5 hours, and 2 scanners later, the answer is 4,462.  That's the number of photographs scanned, although there were over 1,000 duplicate copies of individual images.

2 scanners worked hard on this project!
What's next? What was the point of becoming the Mad Scanner? I'll be working with photographer Harry Casey and Sunbelt Publications to put together Harry's manuscript with accompanying images for publication.  The museum will apply for grants to create an interactive digital exhibit based on the work.  After that? There are plenty more ideas waiting to be implemented- not to mention almost another 4,000 photographs of rock art, Nazca Lines, and desert plants waiting to be scanned and create exciting, interesting, and beautiful exhibits!

A special thanks to Dr. David Breeckner, Angelina Coble, and Marcie Rodriguez for all their help with this project!

Marcie examines a slide

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Storerooms are Open!

By Dr. David Breeckner, Scholar-in-Residence

New exhibits are coming to the Imperial Valley Desert Museum, and with them comes a host of new artifacts and research. Beginning in September 2017, the museum is launching a series of mini-exhibits designed to engage patrons with previously-unseen materials from its curated collections.

These exhibits are designed to be small in size and duration, but echo with the weight of something far greater. Visitors will find one of our new display cases, full of new objects and research. These cases and their contents demonstrate specific themes and ideas, exploring the contents and nature of the museum's material collections. These exhibits are fleeting and designed to only be featured for a limited period.   

...But never fear! From the ashes of one exhibit, another will rise to take its place. The Imperial Valley Desert Museum hosts a variety of archaeological materials in the Imperial Valley College Collection: pottery, lithics, fossils, multimedia (photographs, audio, video), and much more. Our goal is to showcase parts of this collection as it is researched - interpreting and celebrating the landscape and culture of the Imperial Valley Desert region. With this new program, the IVDM aims to make accessible that which was previously stored, bringing our backrooms to the exhibit floor.

This week we've unveiled our first exhibit in this series: Ceramics of the Americas. This mini-exhibit celebrates the material culture of native peoples from outside our immediate region. Both this week and in the weeks to come, there is something new for everyone. We invite you to come by and answer the question yourself: what's the new thing at the museum now?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Welcome, Dr. Breeckner, to IVDM!

~Education Coordinator, Marcie Rodriguez

This week we have a new face here at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum, Dr. David Breeckner. Dr. Breeckner is our new Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. Hailing orginally from Connecticut, he graduated from Trinity College Dublin, in Dublin Ireland in June of 2017.

His backgroung is in Minoan ceramics, but is looking forward to expanding his expertise into our local pottery. Dr. Breeckner will be spending the next few months with us at the museum, and we are looking forward to seeing the research he produces.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hello Wood Published in ArchDaily this week

Arch Daily, a weblog covering architectural news, projects, events, and competitions published an article on the Hello Wood art and architecture camp that museum staff participated in this past July.

The review of the Alt Cathedral is very nice:

The cathedral in the Hello Wood village is under construction and has been expanding now for a second year running. This year, the church built on the ruins of the settlement that existed here three hundred years ago has been expanded with further elements: the communal spaces of a chapter house and a cloister. A special feature of the latter is that it is always open towards the interior garden of the chapter house, and so though it shuts out the outside world, this does not mean that its structure is not welcoming: inside, it makes space for people to gather.
One part of the communal spaces, also newly created, is reminiscent of a living room, while another is more fitted to fulfilling the functions of a bedroom thanks to the reclining spaces within. The residents of Hello Wood may just be visiting, staying temporarily in the village, but they still need places that can provide them with the comforts of home. At the same time, the expanded cathedral is a structure that can adapt flexibly to any kind of need. It can be a private residence for its builders, but it can also accommodate the more than one hundred residents of the village on a more spiritual occasion, such as for example a concert.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Geology Tool Box Lables!

~Marcie Rodriguez, Education Coordinator

How rocks are defined with examples!
With the school year coming, the museum is finishing Geology: The Science of Getting Your Hands Dirty tool box. While the bottom half was desgined to meet 4th grade curriculum standards, the top we designed to me more flexible. It explores how rocks are defined using geologic terms, what sort of uses different rocks have, and what local rocks are being used for. They also get to see a variety of fossils, many of which are from our valley.

A collection of fossils!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

History on the Go! goes to Summer Camp!

~ Marcie Rodriguez, Education Coordinator

One of our youngest students
shyly shows off his pot.
180 students made pots
Albert works with the older students
Today, education staff went to the City of El Centro's Summer Camp program with our History on the Go! program. We saw 180 students, ranging from toddlers to preteens. We were thrilled to get to work with so many students, at such a range of ages. We taught them how to make pots the same way the native people of the Imperial Valley made pots for the last 1000 years. It was good to see so many children connect with the history of their homes, and smile while doing it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

La Posta Makes Pots

- Edgar Bernal Sevilla, Education/Curation Staff

Today, Albert, Angelina, and I did a History on the Go program at the Boys and Girls Club at the La Posta Reservation of the Kumeyaay Nation. After we had unloaded everything, thirteen children lined up to make pots. Angelina did a small presentation while Albert finished setting up.

Some of the students recognized me from Earth Day, where we did a History on the Go here as well. I happily greeted these kids and they kindly became secondary teachers. Albert and Angelina got their hands dirty while I patrolled, making sure any kids that needed help got it.

The staff at the Boys and Girls Club were happy to see the kids engaged and enjoying themselves.

The students made some beautiful pots and everyone walked away with smiles on their faces, including our staff. After our History on the Go was done, we volunteered to help the Boys and Girls Club unload a food delivery they had received.

Definitely a success in my book!