National Museum of Natural History

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Artist_is_in

I had a great time speaking with visitors and staff Saturday at the National Museum of Natural History. My two hour program provided an opportunity to discuss process and share original drawings that I incorporated into the mural at Q?rius, the museum’s new interactive learning space. It was my first visit since the mural’s installation and Q?rius’ opening in December… and particularly fun to see how engaged my boys were exploring it all on their own. Henry was particularly interested in the microscopes he used for up-close inspection of the museum’s collections (Q?rius has over 6,000 objects available to view), while Auden was obsessed by the numerous activities he could complete to earn a digital “badge” for his fieldbook. I’m just thrilled to be part of it.

Our week-long visit (over the boys’ Spring Break) afforded time with family and visits to the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, National Air & Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, and a trip to Baltimore to see the Visionary Art Museum, National Aquarium, Fort McHenry, and catch the Orioles vs. Red Sox at Camden Yards.

If you’re interested in a “key” to the mural (which comprised part of Saturday’s presentation) you can find that here.

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Q-rius_mural

Open today! I’m honored to have created a mural for Q?rius (pronounced “curious”), the new education center at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. My mural greets visitors to the 10,000 square foot interactive environment, just inside the Constitution Avenue entrance along the National Mall.

With 7,600,000 visitors in 2012, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History lays claim to most attended museum in North America—and is only 2nd in the world behind the Louvre in Paris, France (with its 9,720,000 annual visitors). Its collection includes more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts—from the Hope Diamond to the Hall of Dinosaurs.

Mural

Q?rius combines labs, unparalleled access to collection vaults, creative studios and hangout spots—to inspire exploration by teenagers and help them understand how science is relevant to their everyday experience. This ties in with a national effort to increase interest in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math. In a current series of New York Times editorials, the need is laid bare: the number of students pursuing careers in these fields is plummeting as the need for those workers soars.

“We’re taking the traditional museum and turning it inside out to help teens make sense of the world they are inheriting and giving them access to Read the rest of this entry »

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