'Green Revolution' opens at Farmington Museum

Novel 'traveling' show is tailored to specifics of each museum

Mike Easterling

FARMINGTON — It's not just its content that makes the "Green Revolution" exhibition opening Saturday at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park different from every other traveling show the museum has presented.

Curator Jeffrey Richardson works on a wall display from a lift as part of the "Green Revolution" exhibition opening today at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.

Museum Curator Jeffrey Richardson described "Green Revolution" as a novel concept.

"Normally, you have a physical exhibition that is loaded on a truck and shipped to another location and unloaded," he said, describing the traditional process by which an exhibition makes its way from museum to museum.

But in the case of "Green Revolution," the Farmington Museum licensed the show — and its ideas — and constructed the attractions with its own staff and materials.

"You're able to craft your own exhibition and reduce the carbon footprint," Richardson said, explaining the logic behind that approach.

The show originated through the Smithsonian Institution's Traveling Exhibition Service and was based on an exhibition created by the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. It focuses on reducing waste and conserving energy through creative processes via the use of recycled and repurposed materials.

The show features several hands-on stations, including a composting tumbler, bicycles that generate electricity, a green board game, a solar display that demonstrates the efficiency of its panels and a table where visitors can craft artwork from recycled materials. The Farmington Museum staff still was putting the finishing touches on the show this afternoon, and Richardson acknowledged this exhibition required much more prep work than a normal traveling show.

Collections Manager Lizz Ricci turns a composting tumbler, part of the "Green Revolution" exhibition opening today at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.

"(The Smithsonian gives) you ideas on how to tie those concepts into a full-fledged exhibition," Richardson said. "It's like a blueprint, and you're allowed to tailor it for your audience and your space."

Despite the extra work, Richardson said he appreciated the freedom that gave him as a curator.

"You can take individual components of the show or you can license the whole package," he said. "We chose to do that, and we crafted it to the space we had."

The show's hands-on education aspects are aimed specifically at children and families, he said.

"Kids will have the opportunity to learn, explore and to do things instead of just reading text on a wall," he said.

Richardson said the museum staff recognizes the importance that fossil fuel extraction industries play in the local economy, and he said "Green Revolution" is not intended to minimize their significance. He pointed out that much of the exhibition's message focuses on conservation as a cost-savings issue and said that is a message that should be well received by everyone.

Collections Manager Lizz Ricci demonstrates how a display featuring solar cells works as part of the "Green Revolution" exhibition opening today at the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park.

"Turning off your lights or fixing leaky faucets is something we can all agree will save money," he said.

He noted that the oil and gas industry itself employs small solar arrays at many of its well sites throughout the San Juan Basin. Richardson said "Green Revolution" demonstrates that renewable energy can be put to good use as a complementary energy source, rather than as a replacement for traditional fuels.

The theme of "Green Revolution" also ties in with the "ReDress: Upcycled Style by Nancy Judd" show that has been on display at the museum for the past several months. That exhibition is a fashion show of garments and accessories created from repurposed materials.

Richardson said the two shows have provided the museum with the chance to cover a serious, relevant subject in a lighthearted but still informative way.

"It's been a lot of fun to work on," he said. "And it's given us a lot of areas to explore."

The exhibition will remain on display through Sept. 9 Call 505-599-1174 for more information.

Mike Easterling covers education, health and the environment for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.

Collections Manager Lizz Ricci pedals an electricity-generating stationary bicycle, part of the "Green Revolution" exhibition opening today at the Farming Museum at Gateway Park.


The San Juan College theater department presents a reader's theater performance of Stephen Karam's "The Humans" at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Black Box Theater on the college campus, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington. Admission is by donation. Call 505-566-3464.

The Teen Movie Monday series at the Farmington Public Library, 2101 Farmington Ave., continues at 4 p.m. Monday with a free showing of the 2017 horror film "The Bye Bye Man" in the Teen Zone. Call 505-599-1270 or visit infoway.org.

The San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestras under the direction of Lech Usinowicz will perform at 7 p.m. Monday at the Community Concert Hall on the Fort Lewis College campus in Durango, Colo. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Call 970-247-7657.

The "Sounds of Phoenix" tour with Embry Alexander, Onewayriot and Dyzynus comes to Asterix, 101 Ayanii Nez Blvd. in Shiprock, at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Admission is $3. Visit facebook.com/AsterixVenue/.

The "On Common Ground" speaker series at the Farmington Public Library, 2101 Farmington Ave., continues at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with a presentation by Ryan Schwochert in the Multipurpose Room. Admission is free. Call 505-599-1270 or visit infoway.org.

Ventriloquist, pianist and comic Taylor Mason performs at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St. Tickets are $18 and $24. Call 505-324-6328. Visit brownpapertickets.com.