Friday, February 28, 2014

Ray Wilcox, 1945-2014

The Imperial Valley Desert Museum was saddened to hear today of the passing of Ray Wilcox.  Ray was instrumental in the early development of the IVC Desert Museum as a Site Recorder/Secretary and came back recently to help interns salvage and re-curate artifacts. 

We thank Ray for thinking of the museum when he asked for donations in his name in lieu of flowers. 

1945 - 2014
Ray Wilcox, 68, of El Centro passed away peacefully on Friday, February 21, 2014. He is survived by his loving family: wife Karen, to whom he was married for 44 years; his children: daughter Wendy, son-in-law Daniel; son Jason, daughter-in-law Susan, and granddaughter Merideth.
Ray was born in El Centro to Otis and Willie Ray Wilcox on June 21, 1945. He graduated from Central Union High School in 1964 and then served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam. His career included 20+ years as a truck driver for Valley Transit, then Ryerson and finally Pinner. He always said his favorite job was pumping gas during the lean times.
He returned to IVC where he earned an Associate of Arts degree in Archaeology. He was hired as Secretary/Site Recorder at the Imperial Valley College Desert Museum and delighted in saying, "I love my title as secretary." Ray was a wonderful husband, father and he thoroughly enjoyed the role of grandfather. He was a loyal and loving friend who could be counted on when needed. Ray had a real zest for life and loved to laugh and tease people. We will all miss him and his laughter.
Family and friends will be contacted when plans for a Celebration of Life are finalized.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ray's memory should be made to: Wounded Warrior Project https://support.
or Imperial Valley Desert Museum

Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Feb. 28, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

IVROP Coiled Clay Program

Today we had a record number of people come out for our coiled clay program.  40 participants in an IVROP program came out to see the museum and try their hand at making coiled clay pots.  They enjoyed a picnic lunch and a short hike to explore the desert and learn a little about desert plant life and their cultural uses.

A record number of coiled clay participants!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First Field Trip of 2014

Today 28 fourth graders and four teachers and parents from McCabe Elementary School came out for the museum's first field trip this year.  Over the next month all five classes of McCabe's fourth graders will have the chance to come out to see the museum.

The kids got enjoy several different activities during the day.  They went on a hike to explore the desert and learn about some of the plants, animals, and rocks that can be found right out in our own backyard.  Making clay pots in our signature coiled clay activity showed them how the Kumeyaay tribes made the ceramic vessels needed to carry food and water necessary for living in the desert.  And they got to reinforce some geology lessons from science class by checking out volcanoes, floating pumice and handling obsidian.  Everyone had a great time with what one boy called "fun science".  We hope the rest of our field trips have as much fun learning as this class did!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Eagle Scout Project in the paper Today

There was a great article in the paper today about the Boy Scout garden started this month by Hector A Sanchez.

Click here to read the online version of the article:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturdays Have become Busy Days

This Saturday there was a lot going on at the museum. We had a library program. Hector Sanchez planted 44 cacti in our first indigenous cactus garden. We began re-arranging storage areas in preparation for taking the new collection that comes the first week of March. Two trustees were here working on fundraising plans, temporary exhibits, and the gift shop. It was the first day for a brand new intern. And we had 26 visitors.

Compared to even just a few months ago...a very busy day indeed.

Friday, February 21, 2014

IVDM goes nationwide!

-Anne C. Morgan, Interim Head Curator

Some of you may have noticed that I wasn't at the museum this week.  Instead, I was in Ocean City, Maryland attending the annual conference of the Small Museum Association.  I had the distinction of being the person who travelled the farthest to get to the conference, which made me pretty memorable to people. I attended several great sessions and will be coming back with some new ideas, but I went primarily to give a presentation called "On the Road Again: Adapting Traveling Exhibits to fit your Small Museum".

This was my first time presenting at a conference and I was thrilled to be able to represent the IVDM and share our Gold Fever! exhibit work with other small museum professionals.  You'll be excited to hear that we got a lot of compliments on the exhibit and the work that we did, and other small museums are going to try and follow our example in adapting a general traveling exhibit to fit their own local communities.  To me it is just one more example of how far we have come as a museum in such a short time.  I look forward to increasing our national profile and working with the SMA and other groups to continue to improve and expand the work that we are doing.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Eagle Scout project in progress

For the last two weeks, Hector A Sanchez has been been working on his Eagle Scout project by building the new Boy Scout Garden at the Museum. Hector has been scouting with Troop 4070 since he was 11. He and his friends have been working hard to build an indigenous cactus garden, which is one of the first garden in the museum's exterior garden plan. They have been moving a lot of rocks-and today they are leveling beds. Next Saturday they will be back out bright and early to plant cacti. This is just the beginning, and over the next few years we should see lots of Boy Scouts following Hector's lead. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Movies and gardens: Saturday fun at the Museum

There was a time when this museum was just a dream.  We worried about what our broad goals were, the cultural and community bonds we wanted to form, and the programs we wanted to hold.  Now we worry about who's making the sandwiches for a group lunch and who'll be here to open the Museum at 8am for Boy Scouts.  We had two programs today: Boy Scouts out to do an Eagle Scout project, a film and book discussion, as well as two trustees volunteering at the front desk, four paid staff, and nine museum visitors through the building by noon. Talk about a busy day!  The museum hosted its second film and discussion group in partnership with the Imperial County Free Library and the Imperial Valley Islamic Center for the Muslim Journeys series.  The goal of the series is to learn more about the people, places, histories, faith, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the globe. 22 people met to watch the award winning PBS documentary Prince Among Slaves and talk about the 1977 book by Terry Alford of the same title. Three Boy Scouts will be working the next few Saturdays on an Eagle Scout project, designing and building a garden next to the museum.  Today they moved rocks and formed the garden borders where they'll be planting.  Next week they'll be having even more fun- moving earth with heavy machinery!We are moving forward: holding programs, hosting traveling exhibits, and designing our permanent museum exhibits.  The changes are coming fast and furious, and we are excited not only to see how far we've come, but how far we still plan to go.