If you are in the mood to tickle your funny bone, be sure to check out July’s exhibit at the Museum of Moab entitled “Museum of Unnatural History.”
The exhibit features more than 50 pieces of ceramic sculptures crafted by Castle Valley artist Tricia Ogilvy. The main attraction will be a series of fictitious skulls that are accompanied by short stories about the animal featured, its classification, and how it became extinct. There will be a reception to celebrate Ogilvy’s work on Saturday, July 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is open to the public and will be free of charge.
“I hope Moabites and visitors have a really good time, get a good chuckle out of the skulls, and have their day lightened by seeing my work,” Ogilvy said. “If I have achieved that, then I think it will be a success.”
Ogilvy has always been a storyteller and an artist. She worked as a full-time actress in New York City and has written screenplays, novels, and most recently composed an opera libretto. Now, she has been sculpting for 16 years and says she loves working with ceramics because “it is so tactile, you can be completely absorbed in your work.”
The “Museum of Unnatural History” will delight your imagination with fictitious skulls that have intricate stories attached to them. One example is the starry-eyed saber fox.
“Scientists believe the eyes on top of his head helped the creature with celestial navigation,” Ogilvy said. “When volcanic ash blocked off the stars for years and left him blind, he became extinct.”
Viewers will also get the chance to meet the Triclopsyian Dodo – whose third eye served as a cooling device – and the Monodente Triangularis, who couldn’t handle the end of the Ice Age. Ogilvy’s work is focused on funny, quirky and unique characters you won’t find anywhere else.
The exhibit encourages visitors to interact with the sculptures. Viewers can drop suggestions in a box to name a mystery skull.
“If people are careful, they can handle the skulls to see the teeth. Just treat them as if they were a teacup,” Ogilvy said.
Museum of Moab Director John Foster said the exhibit is unique in that it combines artistic skill and imagination with biological questions.
“Is a skull like that possible or not, and why?” he asked.
Speaking of the vital nature of this and other art featured at the museum, Foster said, “The importance is in seeing the world in a less literal way than most of us generally do.”
Art has the power to open new worlds.
“It’s a chance to see the world through a different lens than the one you use day to day,” Foster said.
Skulls are not the only creations that will be on display for the month of June: Ogilvy has created ceramic characters that will inspire.
“There are three baby sphinxes, a big fat bloated tick smoking a cigarette in a long cigarette holder, a vulture, a little monster called a scape who escapes into the scent of a flower, and more … generally my work is a little risqué,” Ogilvy said.
The Museum of Moab features local artwork throughout the year, revealing new pieces every two to three months.
“For the size of town we have, we seem to have more than our share of talented artists, and doing what we can to support their work is part of our mission to promote education in natural and cultural history,” Foster said.
Tricia Ogilvy will show ceramic sculpture art at Museum of Moab from July 2-31
What: Museum of Unnatural History Art Exhibition by Tricia Ogilvy
When: Sunday, July 2, through Monday, July 31, with a reception on Saturday, July 8, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Where: Museum of Moab, 118 E. Center St.
I hope Moabites and visitors have a really good time, get a good chuckle out of the skulls, and have their day lightened by seeing my work. If I have achieved that, then I think it will be a success.