Hey, check out the Audubon Insectarium—we played a part in its creation.
We have worked with the Audubon Nature Institute for many years. We have contributed our art direction and design services to traveling and permanent exhibits of the Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Insectarium and The Nature Center.
The images shown here are from the Insectarium. We worked with Audubon’s Design and Exhibitory staff to help them achieve their vision for the New Orleans Gallery and the Tiny Termite Cafe. We researched the topics for each display, supplied copy, collected and purchased artifacts, created graphics and art directed multiple vendors. I haven’t counted but I would say there are over 100 graphic pieces within the gallery and the cafe. It took 5 years to complete as it was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. Today, the museum thrives in the historic Customs House, at the foot of Canal Street.
This is the center hall of the New Orleans Gallery which is also the original carriage way of the Customs House. There are exhibits along both walls starting with the infamous cockroach and ending at the Tiny Termite Cafe.
We imported one of the last old-style VW Bugs from Mexico then had it customized and child proofed. Once the children are inside they can start a love bug animation by honking the horn. This is very popular as you can imagine.
Yellow Fever epidemics impacted New Orleans greatly. This exhibit walks you through the history of those uncertain times via an interactive touch screen, signs, displays and a vivarium, of coarse, with live mosquitoes.
Located at the entrance to the Tiny Termite Cafe this poster invites you to come partake in the cooking shows. You can taste homemade "chocolate chirp" cookies and other delectibles from around the world. Specialty insects, of course.
Believe it or not—A real-live flea circus! Doing the research was so entertaining. I found "possibly" the only Flea Circus Master left in the world. He constructed a show with tiny cannons blasting, balls moving across the stage "pushed by trained fleas" and circus music framing the act. We directed local artisans to construct the housing and decorative fabric elements. This is one of my favorite exhibits; it's located in the cafe.
In the Tiny Termite Cafe there are several live vivariums/displays that also function as cafe tables for eating. Each table contains artifacts and graphics showing how the cultures of the world interact with the specific insects inside, for example, the silk worm and China. The stories for each insect were researched and the items were searched out and purchased.
This is a 3-D sign hanging in front of a mosquito display. The exhibit initially housed Tox Mosquitoes that do not bite. The exhibitor was to put their hand inside of the vivarium and have the harmless insect land on their hands. With this concept in mind we created a fortune-telling display and named it Madame Rosa in keeping with the New Orleans tradition of palm reading.