Monday, March 5, 2018

Concrete Beginnings

 -Marcie Landeros, Education Coordinator
The concrete base for this amazing sign was poured today! Thank you Home Depot! 

Today was a very exciting day, both for the museum and for me personally. Today we poured the concrete for the foundation of a new sign that will be placed at the off-ramp of the I-8, in Ocotillo. This sign will welcome visitors to the museum and guide them up the road to the driveway. This project has been driven by our community, and it brings me great joy to see it continue to move forward.

Gibson & Schaeffer's cement mixer, pouring a concrete base
This project has been in the works for quite some time. The grant through IV Community Foundation was given in December of 2015, and was then supported by the Imperial Valley Board Supervisor Jack Terrazas. The sign was designed by The Rainforest Art Project, over the course of a year. During the 2016 – 2017 school year, I spent Wednesday afternoons at Seeley Elementary where Rainforest staff taught me how to mosaic, and I in-turn taught the students.

Marcie with Home Depot crew, watching the concrete pour
The finished concrete base: the beginning of the final step for our new sign!
Home Depot not only donated the supplies for the pour, but also provided the museum with volunteers. Home Depot also secured a truck from Gibson and Schaeffer Construction for the pour. Museum staff, board members, and volunteers made quick work of the pour, creating a beautiful foundation for a beautiful mosaic sign. I can't wait until we are inviting Seeley students out here to watch their mosaic get installed!

"Goodbye, Hello!"

-David Breeckner, Interim Museum Director

Today the Imperial Valley Desert Museum made its first steps toward the next stage of its development and offerings.  A group of dedicated volunteers came together to transform an underutilized and underappreciated facility on the Museum’s grounds into a dynamic work space for future arts-based projects and programs.  Join us in saying “goodbye” to the old Information Center (IC) and “hello” to the new Activities & Propagation Center (APC).

Since the closure of the original Imperial Valley College Museum in El Centro, the IC served as a storehouse and repository of its collections and records.  It held this role for many years, until the construction of the new IVDM  building in Ocotillo in 2008.  From then until 2012, its storerooms were emptied and the artifacts carefully transported to their new forever home at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum.  Since that move, the IC has been listless and often relegated to the background of any conversation.  Many, including some of our own membership and Board, have since forgotten the history and importance of its earliest role!

Now, the IVDM Society, Inc looks to revitalize that same facility, giving it new purpose as an outdoor education and activities space.  Moving forward, we hope to see the APC succeed as a place for dedicated cultural art and science programs.  On a busy day at the Museum, it can be difficult to find the space to run our signature coiled clay program, or to design new mosaic signage and artwork.  It is even more difficult to garden, propagating local plants.  The new APC gives the Museum room to grow in all these activities, and more.

In place of a single building on its property, the IVDM now looks to grow into a multi-building, multi-purpose campus.

Today, a team of six volunteered their morning and afternoon to begin the first stage of its transformation.  Working to the musical stylings of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s and the promise of grilled hotdogs, volunteers swept, sorted, and binned the accumulated trash of the last two decades (and beyond).  Looking forward, the IVDM hopes to continue its work on the APC: repairing its sloped roof, repainting the exterior walls, developing its open courtyard, and to complete its design and installation of a planting space for the propagation of the town of Ocotillo’s namesake.

Our “Community BBQ & Clean-up” series has only just begun!  If you would like to get involved, we welcome you to reach out to Museum staff by email, phone, or by just stopping in.