Teamwork Makes Exhibits Happen

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Recently at the Colorado Kids Reporter Training at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, I got to take a tour behind the scenes of how everything really works at the museum.

Recently at the Colorado Kids Reporter Training at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, I got to take a tour behind the scenes of how everything really works at the museum.

Frances Kruger a Senior Developer/Writer of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science gave me a tour of some of the most exclusive stuff the museum has to offer-yet its in the basement! She has been working professionally since 1980 teaching art and working at the museum. Frances got her start by taking lots of art classes in high school, graduate school and college. Frances has a bachelors in studio art and art history, and a masters in museum studies. She made a very good point that working with exhibits helps work both sides of the brain. You are using your creative right side to create and imagine, but then you get to use your smart side to build and plan. So also is an interpretive writer, so she gets to come up with the labels for the exhibits in the museum and develop ideas for new exhibits as well.

The funny thing is that everything is done as a team, nothing is done alone. Well its kinda like doing a school project together. The teacher ( or boss in this case) gives a general idea of what they want. Then everybody has a specialty, to make the team there is a scientist, educator, technology representative, project manager. They each work on their part. After the individual work, they come together and combine the ideas and viola!

Once they combine these ideas to get a big idea they need approval, and then they can start moving toward their goal. The actual products start to move along in the wood shop where they cut and build whatever is needed for an exhibit. Next door to it is the paint shop, where they stain decorate and paint items. Everything is set up theoretically in the basement.

The new wing that they are working on will include anthropology, archives, geology, health sciences, zoology, and paleontology.

They also try to pick one exhibit each year and make it better. Later this year, they will be installing 3D elements to certain parts of the museum. For example, a ponderosa pine tree will be put in with the bear exhibit with sculpted cubs climbing up and down the tree.

There are so many more additions being added, that you’ll just have to go and see for yourself later this year!

Frances would say to kids who are interested in art and creating things to take every opportunity that you can. Whether it be with designing, painting, or drawings, don’t pass it up! Always keep learning, because the more experience the better. Museums are great places to get inspiration and figure out how things are made.