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Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway with Artist Ray Troll and Paleontologist Kirk Johnson

October 6 - Dec. 28, 2012 (UPDATE: Please note the MSU Museum will be closed during the New Year's holiday weekend and through Jan. 1)Cruisin the Fossil Freeway poster

 

Art and Science Work Together to Present Story of Early Life on Earth

Traveling Exhibition from Seattle’s Burke Museum Features Art of Ray Troll
 
Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway with Artist Ray Troll and Paleontologist Kirk Johnson -- 
Opening Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at the Michigan State University Museum
 
MSU Federal Credit Union Family Fun Day, Sat., Oct. 27, 2-4 p.m. (free). Fossil dig, face painting, make-and-take fossil cases and more. 
 
Ammonites, trilobites, dinosaurs, oh my! Fossils are all around us. That’s the message paleontologist Kirk Johnson and artist Ray Troll share in the traveling exhibit Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway with Artist Ray Troll and Paleontologist Kirk Johnson, opening at the Michigan State University Museum on Saturday, Oct. 6. 
 
Fossils have long been a subject of fascination and are used by paleontologists to help answer questions about early life on Earth. But how much can the fossil record tell us about evolution, extinction, and geologic time?
 
Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway features 19 framed color prints and five large-scale murals of Ray Troll’s whimsical, fossil-inspired artwork, all of which were created for a book of the same title, published by Troll and Johnson in 2007. The book records the “epoch tale” of the duo’s 5,000-mile road trip through the American West as they sought to explore the fossil record. The exhibit combines visuals and stories from the book with real fossil specimens from the Michigan State University Museum’s own paleontology collection. Also on view will be a video highlighting Troll’s artistic process.
 
"Ray Troll and Kirk Johnson are a great team to put together this exhibit, which combines Ray's distinctive art with Kirk's scientific perspective, and we are excited to have it opening here at the MSU Museum,” observes Mike Gottfried, associate professor of geological sciences and curator of paleontology at the MSU Museum. “We'll also add in some fossils from our own collections, including the skull of a giant 'killer pig,' saber-toothed cats, and a Tyrannosaurus tooth,” he adds.
 
Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway was organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, Washington in collaboration with Ray Troll and Kirk Johnson, authors of the book Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway: An Epoch Tale of a  Scientist and an Artist on the Ultimate 5,000-Mile Paleo Road Trip (Fulcrum Books 2007). Local sponsorship for Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway was provided by the MSU Federal Credit Union. 
 
The exhibit opening coincides with the MSU Museum’s popular annual MSU Federal Credit Union Dinosaur Dash, which typically brings more visitors to the MSU Museum than on any other single day of the year for the 5K run/walk, children’s fun runs, and indoor- and outdoor activities.
 
Also on tap: National Fossil Day is Wednesday, Oct. 17. Visitors can come to the MSU Museum for a “Time Card” activity, part scavenger hunt, part scientific field journal. 
 

Image above:
“Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway” by Ray Troll. On view in Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway with Artist Ray Troll and Paleontologist Kirk Johnson, organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, WA.

Also for sale in the Museum Store: Take home a copy of the colorful and creative companion book! $29.95 (204 pages)

Cruisin the Fossil Freeway book