Thursday, April 8, 2010

Drawing a Totem Pole

By: Michelle Murdock, Curator of Exhibitions
It’s the little things that make all the difference. Last Saturday I met up with Ray Kimball, an illustrator from Utica, New York, at Fenimore Art Museum. We hired Ray to make a line drawing of our new totem pole. He and his wife, Laurie braved the chilly tractor-trailer bed in which the totem pole is stored in order to become familiar with the imagery before he made the drawing. They took a lot of pictures and a lot of measurements, since Ray made the drawing to-scale, of course. I explained the imagery to Ray and let him borrow a book called Looking at Totem Poles.

Ray’s finished product is a pencil-and-ink drawing that our Associate Curator of Exhibitions, Chris Rossi, converted into an electronic file. Chris’ file was then embedded in an interpretive graphic panel that will be installed next to the totem pole. This little drawing will make a big impact on our visitors, helping them identify the individual images on the totem pole, which include a beaver, raven and eagle.

The totem pole, made by Reg Davidson, will be dedicated Memorial Day weekend. Stay tuned and come join us for the celebration!

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