Saturday, April 18, 2015

Frequently asked question: When will you open?

-from the Director

Archaeology section- under development
"When will you open?" is a question we have been getting a lot lately. Currently, we are installing the casework for Phase I and Phase 2 of our exhibit. This will take 3 weeks.  Though this is a lot like installing furniture, it is big furniture, and just like at your house, it also requires a lot of painting and wallpapering.  After installation, museum staff will have three weeks to complete painting, put back ceilings, and do a deep cleaning.

After the rocks and casework are installed and the museum is cleaned up, we will be installing interactives, media, and software. This entails setting up computers and LCD projectors and requires three more weeks to make sure everything is installed properly and running correctly.  After all this, we will prepare artifacts for mounting and installation. This is the most complicated and time consuming step that museum staff will be doing. This will take most of the summer.

Painting and protecting rocks
A Borrego Sheep & mountain lion in the new exhibit

Phase 3 of the exhibit will cover the geology of Imperial Valley, and we are hoping that there will be public support to finish our exhibit sooner rather than later. If this is the case, we will complete the final design for Phase 3 in the fall and install these components this winter. This would allow us to have an official "grand opening" in the spring of next year.

Until then, we are planning a series of rolling soft openings for our members and a few for the public as exhibit software is tested and comes fully online or as artifacts get installed in specific cases.

We are not taking the traditional approach to opening a new museum where visitors don't see anything until a grand unveiling. We have had people come in the building throughout the process and many have seen the behind-the-scenes process that goes into building a permanent museum exhibit.  We want our visitors to feel involved every step of the way, and feel pride and ownership in a museum that they have watched grow into something truly special.

This excerpt is from "Land of Extremes: Desert Museum: Behind the scenes of new exhibit." by Neal V. Hitch. Imperial Valley Press. April 18, 2015. For the full article, see today's Imperial Valley Press.

No comments:

Post a Comment