Kachemak Bay: An Exploration of People and Place
Premiering in the new Pratt Museum Building (anticipated to open in 2018), the Pratt Museum’s anchor exhibit will combine existing elements from the 2007 installation with many new components.
The purpose of the exhibition is to awaken a sense of connectedness between people and place; to celebrate our own sense of place and to share it with visitors.
The development of this exhibit continues the Pratt’s dedication to community-based collaboration. This newest phase of the Master Exhibit Plan has grown out of community meetings, and is led by the Pratt’s Exhibits Committee and an Advisory Panel of Scholars and Tradition-Bearers. We are grateful to have received an Implementation Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct this important design and information-gathering work.
Among the many exhibits in development, there are numerous opportunities for community members to contribute advice and feedback, and to provide content in the form of stories, artifacts, or photographs. Many of these exhibits rely strictly upon community contributions.
Museum visitors will be greeted by orienting exhibits at the museum entry. Past the vestibule, they enter the lobby/welcome area, and will plan their route: Museum Amenities (coat racks, restrooms, museum store), Community Room (including small exhibits), Special Exhibit Galleries, Main Gallery: Living Communities of Kachemak Bay, and Museum Grounds (forest trail, Harrington cabin, heirloom garden, and native plant garden).
Living Communities encompasses Kachemak Bay’s three ecosystems: the sea, the intertidal zone, and the upland region. This continuum begins near the entry, and is the foundation of all visitor experiences in the gallery. Closely tied to the three ecozones, Connections exhibits reveal people and their activities as inseparable from the environmental contexts of this place. Perspectives exhibits are found at key moments throughout the gallery. Reflecting on human impacts over many generations, these engaging experiences invite visitors to consider evidence and take action, if they choose. Rotating artworks are also sprinkled throughout the gallery in support of specific exhibits and themes; accompanying artists’ statements add insight and perspective. Changeable animal mounts are situated as geographically appropriate along the Living Communities continuum, including pelagic birds over the Ocean zone, shorebirds above the Intertidal, and woodland birds above the Upland zone. A fourth thematic area, Dynamic Forces, interprets the geologic and climatic processes that continually shape and reshape our place, profoundly influencing all living communities of Kachemak Bay.
An important emphasis of gallery design and layout will be the integration of people in our environment. Residents of the Kachemak Bay region are closely tied to the land, the sea, seasonal cycles, and the tides. Additional recurring themes are food and foodways (collecting, gardening, harvesting, and sharing), and pathways (connections among our communities, persisting through adversity; and links to the widening world of which we are all a part). While technology and interactive components figure into the gallery, actual artifacts will remain at center stage.
Do you have any of the following items that tell part of the story of Kachemak Bay and Lower Cook Inlet? Photographs may be donated, or permission granted for the museum to use copies. Artifacts are generally best treated as gifts to the museum. If you have any questions about how materials may be used, would like to discuss a possible gift or permission for use, or have a “hot tip” on where we might find these components, please contact Scott Bartlett, Curator of Exhibits. This list will change often as we focus our efforts on different exhibits.
- Interior images of Ma Walli’s Homer Cash Store (1937-1965)
- Shoes piled high in an arctic entry (contemporary)
- Historic photographs of travel: by ice skate, over rough roads during breakup, or alternative transportation.
- The White Alice (WACS) installation at Diamond Ridge
- distinctive historic footwear
- pioneer-era radio
- marine telephone
- dry sink for the Harrington Cabin
(Distinctive or humorous stories engage visitors! Perhaps you can recommend someone who has a good story?)
- about pioneer-era communications and travel
- about using marine telephones
If you are able to answer any of these questions, or have additional contributions that may enrich the Master Exhibit Plan, please fill out this form and “Submit.” Thank you!
Beginning in the winter of 2015, the Pratt has been hosting prototype exhibits in the lower galleries. These are “works in progress,” and opportunities to collect feedback on text, design and interactive components. We want to find out what works… and what doesn’t!
Please come by the gallery and give us your feedback! There are questionnaires and post-it notes available; this is a no-holds-barred opportunity to provide direct input!
Currently on exhibit:
Community Gathering Places
Check back here for public meetings on general exhibit content and design, as well as specific theme-related events.