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Nature, Art and Science Intersect at OMSI's Newest Exhibit: Exquisite Creatures

Exquisite Creatures, an artistic experience that unravels humanity’s intimate relationship with the natural world, makes its Oregon debut at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) on October 5. Artist, naturalist and New York Times bestselling author Christopher Marley reveals the obscure beauty in nature through his three-dimensional work with animal, mineral and plant specimens. 

Guests will experience the ancient connection between art, nature and science at Marley’s awe-inspiring exhibit. Tapping the natural world as his medium, his revolutionary work features rare elements of nature in the precise geometric compositions that have become his signature. 

“Whether or not we consider ourselves nature enthusiasts, the love of life affects us all – we are instinctively inclined to care for it, to understand it, and to be good stewards of it,” said Christopher Marley. “I am thrilled to share Exquisite Creatures with the Portland community because I believe visual enjoyment of the natural world is one of the most effective tools for motivating learning and understanding.”

All of the organisms used in Marley's work are either reclaimed (in the case of vertebrates) or sustainably obtained (in the case of insects) using a worldwide network of people and institutions that share his passion for nature.

Marley works to remove much of the threat we naturally feel from unfamiliar organisms by focusing on their physical design elements. He believes the love for non-human life we innately possess can sometimes be overshadowed by the threat of the unknown. When experienced as an element of a geometric composition, a texture study or a color story, even the most fearsome organisms can be experienced with fresh eyes.

“Exquisite Creatures opens the door to a variety of complex topics by highlighting nature’s inherent beauty and design,” said Nancy Stueber, OMSI president and CEO. “This exhibit is a stunning and insightful way to show that art, science and nature are very much linked together and does a great job at making those topics accessible to audiences of all ages.” 

Exquisite Creatures is on view at OMSI October 5, 2019 – February 17, 2020 and is made by possible through generous support from local presenting sponsor U.S. Bank, and supporting sponsor Oregon Cultural Trust. 

“Through our Community Possible giving and engagement program, we focus on the areas of Work, Home and Play,” said Stacey Dodson, Portland market president for U.S. Bank. “We especially believe in the power of play and its ability to bring joy, creativity and curiosity and to build interpersonal social and emotional skills. That is why we are so pleased to partner with OMSI on this opportunity to bring Exquisite Creatures to our community."

General admission to the museum is $15.00 for adults, $10.50 for youth (ages 3-13), and $12.00 for seniors (ages 63+). The exhibit is free for OMSI members. Guests can purchase tickets online at omsi.edu, via phone at 503.797.4000 or in person at the museum.

About Christopher Marley Christopher Marley is an artist, designer, photographer and author, who uses preserved natural specimens as his medium. He grew up in Oregon, and works to broaden the world’s appreciation for the little-known or misunderstood artifacts of nature and remove the threat we sometimes feel from these organisms by focusing on their physical design. Marley collects or reclaims his subjects in an environmentally sensitive manner using a worldwide network of people and institutions that share his passion for nature. He maintains design studios in Oregon and Malaysia, where he develops new methods to preserve natural artifacts of all kinds. His three-dimensional art has been featured in numerous publications including Scientific American, Wired, Smithsonian.com and the Audubon magazine. Marley’s popular first book, Pheromone (Pomegranate, 2008) focused on his artwork with insects and was listed as one of the best books of the year by The Times (UK). His second book, Biophilia (Abrams, 2015) was a New York Times bestseller.

About OMSI Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI operates the largest museum-based outdoor science education program in the country and provides traveling and community outreach programs that bring science learning opportunities to schools and community organizations in every county in Oregon and throughout the region. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit omsi.edu

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