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Wild Color set to open at Field Museum in Chicago

An exhibit showcasing a world of colors is set to open at the Field Museum Friday. 

Wild Color takes a deep dive across the color spectrum featuring rooms dedicated to specific colors found naturally in nature. 

“We really wanted to create an exhibition that features the beautiful colors of nature that would bring our visitors some joy in an experience they couldn’t get from home,” explained Marie Georg, Wild Color’s exhibition developer.

The exhibition took about a year to create and highlights sensory rooms, various specimens, and a large-scale projection unit that lets you transform into a yellow butterfly. In total, seven color rooms along with ultraviolet and black and white highlight the nine focuses of the exhibit.

Birds, insects, shells, and gemstones are heavily featured in most areas.

Exhibition designer Sarah Daley was inspired by deeply immersive experiences such as Meow Wolf and Olafur Eliasson’s work that combined childlike wonder with the curiosity of learning, which shows itself in Wild Color by showcasing some of nature’s mysteries hidden in plain sight.

“We really tried to get the most diversity possible in every room,” Georg said. “The red room has birds and fruits that use color to attract, and insects and snakes that use the color to warn, in addition to red gems, shells, and fur.”

So far, the reception for Wild Color has been very enthusiastic.

“Several people have told me that seeing these objects organized by color made them see them in a new way,” Georg said.

A rainbow array of tanagers [Photo: Field Museum]

Everyone involved in the development process for Wild Color has their personal favorites, ranging from the Himalayan Monal bird to the blue immersion experience. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the display is under the Ultraviolet selection. As Janet Hong, Project manager on Wild Color, says, one very special favorite is on display there.

“My personal favorite is the platypus that visitors can view under “normal” white light as well as ultraviolet light,” Hong said. “It was only recently discovered onsite at the Field Museum that platypuses glow an eerie green color under UV light. And you know what? Scientists don’t know why. They’re working on it though.”

Wild Color begins October 22nd at the Field Museum.  

You can reserve your tickets now by clicking here.

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