NOAH'S ARK AT THE SKIRBALL
The vision for “Noah’s Ark at the Skirball” was to present the universal flood story, one that is known in over 200 cultures, as a message of interdependence, each of us becoming the hero Noah as we walk through the six rooms or “scenes” of the flood story. From storms and migration, to ark building, to the journey, to dry land, each of us are called to task as caregivers to all life on Earth. Since opening to the public in 2007 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, “Noah’s Ark at the Skirball” has earned awards of excellence from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the American Association of Museums as well as a Regional Design Award from AIA.
At the core of this exhibit are 46 kinetic life-sized animal sculptures and puppets designed and fabricated by Chris Green Kinetics. Each component has an interactive kinetic element, from a simple bell that children can ring, to an animal moving its head, to totally articulated puppets operated by gallery staff puppeteers. In an effort to promote ‘green’ exhibit design, other selective materials were chosen apart from repurposed or recycled elements such as Lokta paper from Nepal (traditionally harvested to be sustainable), low VOC or non-toxic treatments for touchable components, and all basswood is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. Out of a total of 29 animal species chosen for this scope, 20 are endangered or conservation dependent, a fact which promotes a rich educational experience for visitors of all ages. Additionally, there are over 15 fully kinetic, life-like (non-speaking), animal puppets performed by trained puppeteers and dancers who interact improvisationally with visitors at random moments.