Peoria Riverfront Museum’s New Exhibit…
Fourteen life-sized kinetic metal dinosaur sculptures – including a 44-foot Tyrannosaurus rex – will be engaging the public this Sat., July 11 with the opening of Riverfront Museum’s “summer of dinosaurs” big exhibit – “Dinosaurs in Motion.”
Real-life dinosaur fossils inspired the exhibition’s recycled steel sculptures, which feature exposed gears and mechanics. Visitors can control the machine-like dinosaurs via lever and pulley systems, remote controls and X-Boxes, offering large-scale dinosaur interaction that’s unique for a museum setting.
“Dinosaurs in Motion” employs family friendly, hands-on science, art and innovative elements throughout, using each sculpture to teach various STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts in a unique and intriguing way – for visitors of all ages.
The art components cover sketching, drawing and sculpting; science sections explore kinetics, balance, biomechanics and robotics; and innovation areas encourage observation and experimentation. The level of complexity, movement and interactivity of the sculptures increases as visitors walk through the exhibit.
“‘Dinosaurs in Motion’ is a very ingenious blend of art and science,” says museum programs VP Ann Schmitt. “Visitors will have a lot of fun while learning hands-on by experimenting with these simple machines – like finding the center of gravity of large objects.”
The sculptures were created by American artist John Payne from recycled and reused vehicles (signage identifies the car parts integrated within in each sculpture).
“The artist used exposed gears to teach the physics of how dinosaurs move, so he had to consider the balance of dinosaurs – their center of gravity – using the most recent findings,” Schmitt says. “For instance, the modern concept of T-Rex is horizontal – versus the upright ‘kangaroo’ stance you’d see in older incarnations – its tail is parallel to the ground giving a counterweight to its enormous head.”
“Dinosaurs in Motion” covers three Mesozoic time periods – Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic – and features sculptures large to small, from Triceraptops, T. rex, Ankylosaurus andDeinonychus, to a whooping crane and American crow. A juvenile Diplodocus will take up residence in the museum’s lobby.
The exhibition opens to the public July 11, 10 a.m. and runs through Oct. 4. It is presented by PNC Foundation and is sponsored by Maui Jim, PDC and the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA). It is produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Inc. Sculptures are the creations of John Payne and Studio Properties LLC.